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Immigration Law

Cyrus D. Mehta - Save the Children Under the New Visa Bulletin

Cyrus D. Mehta, Sept. 18, 2015- "The changes  made to the priority date system in the October 2015 Visa Bulletin have been positive and will provide much relief to beneficiaries of visas petitions caught in the employment and family-based backlogs. There will be two dates for the very first time: a filing date and a final action date. The filing date will allow the filing of adjustment of status applications if eligible foreign nationals are in the United States and the filing of visa applications if they are outside the country. The final action date will be the date when green cards can actually be issued. 

The October 2015 Visa Bulletin will thus allow the filing of applications prior to the date when green cards actually become available. Until now, the cut-off date was based on when visas were actually available.  While there has been no official guidance, and many of the practice advisories issued make scant reference, it is important that we advocate that the age of the child also be protected under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) at the time that the filing date becomes current for the applicant. A child ceases to be considered a child upon turning 21, and can no longer immigrate as a derivative with the parent, especially when the parent is likely to be caught in the backlogs. It is thus important that the CSPA is made applicable to protect the child’s age at the time of the earlier filing date. This will also promote legal consistency and harmony with respect to the broader definition of visa availability in the new visa bulletin. Readers are cautioned not to expect that this will happen, and the whole purpose of this blog is to advocate that children get CSPA protection under the new visa bulletin."