AILA has published a new Q&A with Charlie Oppenheim, who is the DOS’ Visa Bulletin guru. Charlie points out a number of interesting points about the new Visa Bulletin.
- The DOS may not always publish a monthly Dates of Filing chart. If it does not publish a chart, then the only I-485s that will be accepted by USCIS are those petitions with priority dates earlier than the “Final Action” chart. Each month, the Visa Bulletin will indicate whether USCIS will accept adjustment applications during the upcoming month.
- The new Visa Bulletin will not slow the overall processing times for immigrant visas.
- Charlie does not expect the “Final Action” chart to retrogress for the foreseeable future. The DOS expects to be able to give better forewarning when retrogression may occur. The “whiplash” effect of dates moving aggressively forward and backward is expected to no longer occur because the DOS will have much better data regarding the actual number of immigrant visas that are being demanded.
- The “Dates of Filing” Visa Bulletin chart is not expected to change much from month to month, but when it does move it is expected to move only forward, albeit slightly.
- The “Dates of Filing” chart always has always existed but its application was limited to Consular Process petitions. Overseas immigrant visa petitioners have always received their NVC Fee Bills several months earlier than indicted by the Visa Bulletin. The only change that has occurred is that the DOS is now publishing this chart.