Early filing for adjustment of status applicants in November 2017 (Form I-485)

Last update: February 21, 2018

Who are we talking about?

Family-based applicants for a U.S. green card who fit the following criteria:


What happened?

USCIS indicated that applicants whose priority date is earlier than the filing date of the visa bulletin can file their request to adjust status.


What is different?

Usually, USCIS only allows applicants whose priority date is earlier than the final action date of the visa bulletin to file. The final action date is later than the filing date, which means that applicants usually wait longer before they are allowed to file.


Why does it matter to applicants?

1) Some applicants struggle to maintain legal status in the United States, which you need to file for adjustment of status if you are not an immediate relative. Filing earlier helps. 2) Filing the I-485 means that the applicant can also file for work authorization (for work) and advance parole (for travel).


How much earlier are applicants allowed to file?

It depends on their green card category:


Does it mean applicants getting their green card faster?

May be. Applicants who are ‘case complete’ (meaning their application has been reviewed and considered documentarily qualified) can have their interview scheduled (and a decision made about their green card) as soon as their priority date becomes current. Applicants who are allowed to file earlier have a greater chance to be ‘case complete’ by the time their priority date becomes current.


How long will this last?

We do not expect applicants to be able to benefit from this earlier filing date later than December 2017. We are at the beginning of the government’s fiscal year, and it gives U.S. immigration agencies more flexibility.


What about Mexico?


What about the Philippines?

VISA BULLETIN: OCTOBER 2017 ANALYSIS
Visa Bulletin: October 2017 analysis

Quick analysis of the October 2017 visa bulletin for family-based applicants who are not immediate relatives and subject to annual numerical limits.

Does the ‘filing date’ of the visa bulletin matter to family green card applicants?

The 'filing date' of the visa bulletin is rarely helpful to family-based green card applicants.

Priority date
What is the final action date?

The final action date is when family-based green card applicants who are not immediate relatives can either file their request to adjust status (from within...