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How is the I-485 filing priority date determined?

There are two dates listed on the visa bulletin website for Chinese mainland-born EB-5 immigrant visa applicants: application final action dates for employment-based preference cases and dates for filing of employment-based visa applications, which are 01/15/2014 and 05/01/2015, respectively. Does this mean applicants who have an approved I-526 petition can submit the I-485 if their priority date is between 01/15/2014 and 05/01/2015? Or does the 05/01/2015 date only apply to visas submitted through the NVC, and not I-485s?

Answers

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    Answered on

    The dates for filing of the adjustment of status application assume that the I-526 has been approved. There is no concurrent AOS filing allowed for I-526. The USCIS makes a separate announcement monthly regarding whether the dates for filing or the final action dates may be used. In October and November of last year, USCIS accepted I-485s and allowed the dates for filing to be used. Since then, it has not and only the final action dates may be used.

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    Answered on

    The Department of State determines these dates based on past and projected volume of cases. It seems that there is a split between Adjustment of Status (I-485) and U.S. consulate/NVC cases. We would need to look at your specific situation to make a fully informed decision on how to move forward.

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    Answered on

    USCIS every month publishes whether they will use Date for Filing, or Final Action Date for filing adjustments. For October and November we could use DFF; so far this year, only FAD.

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    Answered on

    When the I-526 is approved it will show the priority date (this is the date that the I-526 was filed originally.)

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    Answered on

    A few months ago, President Obama issued an order to allow the EB-5 applicants whose I-526s have been approved to wait in the United States. So, there are two priority dates for the EB-5 applicants. Actually, this order is not valid, so the EB-5 applicants still need to wait for the priority date on the I-526 receipts.

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    John J Downey

    Answered on

    I am not well-versed in the State Department visa numbers, and the Mainland China category is very confusing. Many practitioners will only answer questions on a "case by case" basis because of the complexities. I believe that the 01/15/14 date refers to applications with a date prior to that and that if you have one you may now apply for a visa with the NVC, I do not believe it refers to the I-485. As I said, it is often on a case by case basis so you may wish to consult immigration counsel.

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