The State Department released the Visa Bulletin for March 2016 . The Visa Bulletin released monthly sets out per country priority date cutoffs that regulate the flow of immigrant visa applications for "green cards". Since October 2015, Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) jointly announced new procedures that will allow certain individuals who are stuck in the family-based and employment-based immigrant visa backlogs to start their immigrant visa paperwork or apply for adjustment of status before their priority date becomes current and an immigrant visa becomes immediately available. There are now two charts listing dates for each preference category and country of chargeability: (1) An "Application Final Action (FA) Dates" chart ("Final Action Date"); and (2) a "Dates for Filing (DF) Applications" chart ("Filing Date").
Please visit the USCIS’ “ Adjustment of Status Filing Charts from the Visa Bulletin ” if you are seeking to adjust status to permanent resident.
For Family-Sponsored Filings:
You may use the Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart for March 2016.
For Employment-Based Filings:
You must use the Application Final Action Dates chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for March 2016.
What does the March 2016 Visa Bulletin Say?
The Department of State’s (DOS) March 2016 Visa Bulletin showed minor movements in the employment-based visa categories. The FA dates on the EB-2 category for India advanced 10 weeks to 10/15/2008 and China advanced 5 months to 08/01/2012. The DF EB2 China also advances 5 months to 06/01/2013. EB2 India's DF remains 07/01/2009. EB-2 Worldwode is current.
The EB-3 preference category for China, India, and the Philippines showed some forward movement. The FD for EB-3 Wordwide and Mexico remianed at 01/01/2016.
On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced the end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Specifically, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security rescinded the 2012 memorandum creating DACA and stated that as of September 5, 2017, the government will no longer process any new DACA applications.
While Congress may act and pass a permanent protection for Dreamers, the following points issued by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) outline today's announcement:
1. If You Do Not Have DACA or a DACA Application Pending . You cannot apply. The program has been terminated and new applications are no longer being accepted by USCIS.
2. If You Have DACA That Expires on or Before March 5, 2018 . If you have DACA and a work permit that expires on or before March 5, 2018, you can apply for a 2-year renewal, but your application must be received on or before October 5, 2017. Be advised that you cannot file an employment authorization application more than 180 days before its expiration date.
3. If You Have DACA That Expires After March 5, 2018. If your DACA and work permit expire after March 5, 2018, you are not eligible for an extension and your DACA, work authorization, and protection from deportation will expire on the date shown on your DACA approval notice and work permit.
4. If You Have a DACA Application Pending . If you have a DACA application that was received at USCIS on or before September 5, 2017, your application will continue to be processed.
5. If You Have DACA and a Valid Advance Parole Travel Document . If you have DACA and have a currently valid advance parole document, you may still use the document to travel and return to the U.S. as long as you return BEFORE the document expires. However, even with a valid travel document, CBP can refuse to let you in. At this time, we are not recommending traveling outside the United States.
6. If You Have an Advance Parole Travel Document Application Pending . USCIS will no longer process or approve applications for advance parole for DACA recipients. If you have an application for DACA-based advance parole pending as of September 5, 2017, USCIS will close the application and return the filing fees to you.
7. Your DACA Can Be Terminated at Any Time . Even with valid DACA and a valid work permit, the government can terminate your DACA and work permit at any me if it believes you are no longer eligible or for any other reason.
8. Do Not Talk to a Notario. Notarios are not lawyers and are not trained to fully understand the complex U.S. immigration system. Some notarios will take your money and give you bad advice. Protect yourself and your family by trusting a qualified immigration lawyer with your legal decisions.
One option would be to allow DACA to sunset, allowing those who presently have DACA and a work permit (with validity periods up to two years) to be protected from deportation and permitted to work until it expires. In the alternative, DACA could be brought to an end quickly and previously issued deferrals of deportation and work permits would be immediately invalidated, thus placing the nearly 800,000 DACA recipients at risk for deportation. The American Immigration Council has made available a list of tips for DACA beneficiaries to protect themselves should they have an encounter with ICE: http://immigrationimpact.com/2017/08/25/trump-end-daca-need-know/
TAKE ACTION: Urge the President and Congress to Protect Dreamers
Last night, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson from Hawaii issued a nationwide restraining order temporarily blocking the executive order from going into effect today. The federal judge argued that the revised ban still discriminates on the basis of nationality and prevents Hawaii residents from receiving visits from relatives living in the six Muslim-majority countries.U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang. Like Watson, determined that Trump's executive order was "the realization of the long-envisioned Muslim ban" and also pointed to comments made by Trump throughout his campaign. The U.S. Federal Court in Maryland, also suspended a portion of the ban that prevented visas being issued to nationals of the six countries.