Urgent: file family-based (F-2A) green card applications prior to end of September
September 10, 2013
The State Department has announced that the family-based green card preference category called “F-2A” will retrogress as of October 1. This means that lawful permanent residents who wish to pursue green cards for a spouse or child under the age 21 in the United States should file the relevant applications with USCIS no later than on or before September 30th.
F-2A is a preference category for spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents, or “green card” holders. There is typically a long wait associated with the category. During the month of September 2013, however, spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents within the United States may concurrently file an immigration petition and an adjustment of status application, with no wait time before filing due to country of birth. Filing the adjustment of status application presents a significant benefit. By filing a timely, eligible adjustment of status application, an applicant becomes eligible to pursue interim work and travel authorization. An adjustment of status applicant remains eligible to receive and renew interim work and travel authorization throughout the duration of his or her green card process. In other words, provided that the properly filed adjustment of status application is received by USCIS by or on September 30th, qualifying family members will be eligible for interim work and travel permission throughout the life of their green card case.
As with all immigration benefits, we recommend obtaining legal counsel or counsel from BIA-accredited professional at a community organization prior to filing any application or petition with USCIS.
Click here for the related October Visa Bulletin: http://travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_6062.html
Today, the State Department announced that employment-based preference categories with historically long waits will advance significantly in the month of September. For those born in India with a second preference (“EB-2”) case, the current priority date will advance slightly over 5 months to June 15, 2008. Similarly, the current priority date for the third preference, or “EB-3,” category will advance 8 months to September 22, 2003 for India and advance 1.5 years for China, Mexico and most other countries of birth to July 1, 2010.
As demand is anticipated to be high, there may be a possible retrogression or visa unavailability prior to the end of September. Historically, however, USCIS has honored and accepted adjustment of status applications for all qualifying applicants within a posted month, notwithstanding an exhaustion of new visa numbers within the month. Click here for the related September Visa Bulletin.