People who are trying to become permanent residents in the U.S. know that it can be a complicated, frustrating and slow-moving process. Generally speaking, the first thing that happens is a petition needs to be filed by a prospective employer or a close family member. After that, most people will need to wait before filing an Application to Register Permanent Residence.
This wait time is based on visa availability and priority dates. In cases where there are many visas available and a person is considered a high-priority applicant, this wait may not be very long. In other cases, however, people end up waiting for weeks, months or even longer for the date when they can finally apply for an adjustment of status. However, according to recent news, that could be changing.
According to reports by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency, the wait time to file applications for an adjustment of status could be shortened for people seeking employment or family-based visas.
Together with the Department of State, the USCIS will work to better predict the demand for certain visas and update the DOS website monthly with updated application dates.
The groups will focus on making sure the maximum amount of visas available during the year are issued by analyzing visa applications, drop-off rates and fulfillment from previous years.
What this could mean for people waiting to file their application depends on the type of visa being sought. If a person is filing an application from a country where the demand for visas is low and that person falls in a preference category with a high number of visas available, the wait to file the application could certainly be reduced. However, if there is a high demand for visas for people from one country or in one preference category, the wait for people seeking those visas may not be shortened as much.
In order to determine how or if this change could affect your individual situation regarding adjustment of status, it can be wise to consult your attorney.
Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "USCIS Announces Revised Procedures for Determining Visa Availability for Applicants Waiting to File for Adjustment of Status," accessed on Sept. 24, 2015