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2015 November DOS Visa Bulletin’s Final Action Cut off Dates

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2015 November DOS Visa Bulletin’s Final Action Cut off Dates

October 9, 2015

It is month two of the government’s new two-tiered system attempting to deal with visa retrogression and modernize the immigrant visa system.   It is also the start of the government’s fiscal year, where historically we hope for forward movement in immigrant visas.  We are not surprised, however, with this month’s tepid November Visa Bulletin.  EB-2 Indians move forward one year for final action dates.  After jumping forward several years last month, EB-2 Chinese, as predicted, move forward only one month for final action dates. 

The new second category, “Dates for Filing,” remains completely unchanged from Charlie Oppenheim’s 11th hour Revised Visa Bulletin issued September 25, six days before the Bulletin’s effective date. 

USCIS last time publicly spat with DOS over a Visa Bulletin back in 2007.  Last time, USCIS was forced to step back and accept applications for adjustment of status.  This time around, USCIS prevailed. Yet, once again, foreign nationals, their employers and immigration counsel suffered. 

Charlie’s Declaration last week in the Class Action suit and request for injunctive relief filed by foreign national plaintiffs confirms that Charlie simply did what he was told to do by the USCIS.  He reversed course in providing the ability to submit adjustment of status applications years in advance of being granted permanent residence.  Rather, he limited that ability to submit adjustment applications to about 8-12 months in advance of being eligible to be granted permanent residence.  Like back in 2007, EB-2 Indians and Chinese nationals and their employers have been most adversely affected. 

We wonder whether Charlie will be permitted to further explain this unfortunate disconnect with USCIS in implementing the administration’s Executive Action from last November 2014.  Perhaps this will occur in Charlie’s upcoming monthly “Check-in with Charlie.” We aren’t holding our breaths for further enlightenment and we aren’t anticipating a restoration of good faith, however.

Here’s where employers and employees stand for November with Application Final Action Dates and Dates for Filing Visa Applications:


First Cut-Off Date Category for Employment-Based Cases

“Application Final Action Dates”


  • all still “CURRENT” 


  • All others – still “CURRENT” 
  • China – moves forward one month to February 1, 2012
  • India – moves forward one year and three months to August 1, 2006
  • Mexico – still “CURRENT” 
  • Philippines – still “CURRENT” 


  • All others – remains at August 15, 2015
  • China –advances about three months to January 1, 2012
  • India – advances one month to April 1, 2004
  • Mexico – remains at August 15, 2015
  • Philippines – advances 5 months to June 15, 2007


Second (New) Cut-off Date Category for Employment-Based Cases

“Dates for Filing Visa Applications”


  • all current


  • All others – still “CURRENT” 


  • All others – still “CURRENT” 
  • China –remains at January 1, 2013
  • India – remains at July 1, 2009
  • Mexico – still “CURRENT” 
  • Philippines – “CURRENT” 


  • All others –remains at September 1, 2015
  • China –remains at October 1, 2013
  • India –remains at July 1, 2005
  • Mexico –remains at September 1, 2015
  • Philippines –remains at January 1, 2010

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