July Visa Number Update

Since July 2 we have been operating under the directive of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) notification that the agency would NOT accept for filing ANY Adjustment of Status applications from applicants in any of the Employment Based categories. The agency apparently made this decision after being informed by the Department of State that no visa numbers for these categories were available for the duration of the fiscal year (ending September 30, 2007), despite the fact that earlier in June the Visa Bulletin indicated that all categories would be “current” (i.e. visa numbers would be available) for the month of July.

USCIS further stated that all such applications received at an Immigration Service Center on or after July 2, 2007 would be returned to the applicants.

Recently we have learned that the American Immigration Law Foundation (AILF), an affiliate of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, will soon file a class action lawsuit challenging the government’s action and seeking relief for the thousands of applicants disadvantaged by this unprecedented step. Other individuals or organizations may be planning similar litigation.

We have been asked whether we recommend attempting to file an Adjustment of Status application this month in order to possibly benefit from such litigation. For the reasons stated below, we are not advising that everyone who could possibly file based on the June prediction of the State Department’s July 2007 Visa Bulletin do so. Rather, we are advising that each individual make this decision after considering the following:

  • The clear stated intention of the USCIS, based on the July 2 statement, is to reject and return all such applications.

  • The prospect for this or other possible litigation to succeed is entirely speculative at this point.

  • If litigation is successful, it could possibly benefit anyone who was eligible to file even though they did not do so.

  • We cannot rule out the possibility that USCIS will make other surprise decisions about the situation during the two weeks remaining in this month.

  • Preparing to file an application in the short period of time available until the end of the month, for those who are not already completing the process, may be extremely difficult, since doing so involves arranging for medical exams, obtaining birth, marriage, and other documents from abroad, etc.

  • Preexisting travel and/or vacation plans may be disrupted because of the requirement that all Adjustment of Status applicants must be physically present in the U.S. at the time of filing and until such time as a receipt is issued for the Application.

  • If an application is filed in spite of the clear directive from USCIS, and is rejected, additional time, effort, legal fees, and expenses will be required to resubmit an application when it becomes possible.

 Those who in spite of the above precautions would like to proceed, and who have already prepared the majority of the required documentation, should contact us immediately.