Ep. 60 US Department of State Re-issues the October Visa Bulletin: "What can I do?"

  • On September 25th, the United States Department of State made some additional changes to the October 2015 visa bulletin. This essentially replaces the September 9 announcement.
  • It includes new and earlier date of filing cutoffs.
  • It is hard to say what caused them to reissue, but it can be assumed that they might be overwhelmed with the workload if they follow the earlier chart.
  • You should be prepared with your applications, get documents organized, as Department of State may continue to make changes on a weekly or a monthly basis.
  • Keep monitoring the visa bulletin.

Raw Transcript:

Jacob: Hello everybody, this is Jacob Sapochnick. You ask, we answer, simple. The My Immigration Lawyer Podcast.

Today, I wanted to update our listeners about the breaking news a couple of days ago. The US Department of State reissues the October visa bulletin and everybody’s wondering what’s going to happen now.

People are familiar with the news that the visa bulletin of October 2015 was going to be very different is going to have two different charts and categories for people to be able to file for their adjustment of status. But on September 25th, the United States Department of State made some additional changes to the October 2015 visa bulletin and these changes include new and earlier date of filing cutoffs than those that originally they release on September 9th.

On September 9 they created this chart which is called date of filling which will be, in many cases, much earlier for some people to file for their adjustment of status. Now the date of filing chart that they released on September 25th essentially replaces the prior one that they released on September 9 which is pretty devastating for many people. In our blog, we actually have a link to the two charts.

Now, these changes really started confusing people because people were very excited that they could file now their adjustment of status in October that wasn’t qualified. But now many people are no longer will be able to do this.

Some of the things people want to know is why did they do this? What cause this visa numbers to be re-issued after they done it already on September 9.

It’s hard to say, honestly, because we assume that most of the reasons are because the concern on the USCIS and Department of State is the workload. Now, thousands of people are going to be fighting for adjustment of status on October 1st and they are just worried that the amount of work of cases they’re going to get is just going to be overwhelming and they are not going to be able to process everything so they had to kind of raise your numbers.

Another thing people wonder is if the Department of State went back on the promise to make the system much better, much streamlined, are they actually going back on the promise?

I think if you look at it, yes, it’s disappointing and they went back to … they kind of changed the promise and numbers are no longer as variable as they were before. The visa numbers have been adjusted kind of in an effort to streamline the immigration process to make it more viable, practical, and effective. These days that they’ve adjust it for family and employment based, they really created this timeline that will allow them to process – to USCIS to process these cases much quicker. We’re not sure exactly what’s going to happen but people are wondering what they can do now.

One of the things that I advice people right now is they should definitely be prepared to file their applications, get the documents organized because changes may happen in a [portion 00:04:01] of a week or weeks actually. So you need to have all the documents, all the supporting documents for the 45, all the supporting documents that need to show that you are eligible for adjustment of status. Because Department of State are going to continue to make adjustments and change these dates and it may happen on a weekly, maybe on a monthly basis.

I don’t recommend filing the adjustment of status on October based on the September 9th filing chart. I heard rumors people are saying that they will still file based on the original chart because there are lawsuits that are being currently organized. I think not. Because people who file based on their original date may risk their applications rejected by any new version. It may take weeks for them to be rejected but you may actually lose your filing fees because they may charge you and then they will say that you don’t qualify.

If you want to pressure the Department of Homeland Security, it’s better to writer your Senator, Congressman, Ombudsman and not file based on the original date because that’s just going to create a pressure on their side and it’s not going to help. It’s not going to help your cases.

We think that heavily used categories will likely not be adjusted in the near future unless the immigration and other stakeholders are able to pressure the state to use the first chart that they release on September 9. We hope that there’s going to be more advocacy. I know that AILA is continuing to pressure the Secretary of Homeland Security Jen Johnson and Director of Domestic Policy Cecilia Muñoz to reinstate the filing the dates [unclear 00:06:00] September 9th.

I know there’s a lot of pressure of lawmakers to do that. But as of today, which is the 30th of September, when I record this, there have not been a change. And so I would not recommend people to file base on the original September 9th bulletin.

My best advice to people is to do a couple of things. First of all, get all your documents ready, make sure that you prepared for filing because change is going to be ready. Second of all, keep monitoring the visa bulletin. I would say people monitor it on a weekly basis to see if you’re eligible. As soon as the dates move forward, you should not miss the opportunity to file.

Finally, I would say continue writing your Congressman, call, advocate, demonstrate, start a blog, whatever you can do to put pressure on the government to reverse the original dates and continue to abide by Obama’s promise for executive action and more changes that he promised in November of last year. Let’s make it happen.

Hopefully this was a little bit of update for you to understand that this is why the changes happened. September 9th filing chart is no longer effective. There’s new changes. They were overwhelmed by applications. They are worried that it’s going to be a problem and so they have basically reissued these numbers.

Finally, keep advocating, keep monitoring the visa bulletin, and hopefully we can give you some better news in the near future. You ask, we ask answer, simple. This is Jacob. We’ll see you at our next episode.