Relatives of Permanent Residents: File in August!Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013
The Family 2A Category on the Visa Bulletin is current for the month of August. In other words, spouses and children (under 21) of U.S. permanent residents who have been waiting to file the I-485 until the I-130 priority date becomes current may – and should – file next month. As most U.S. Permanent Residents and their relatives no doubt know, within 90 days after the I-485 packet is filed, the beneficiary receives work authorization and a travel document. Consequently, he or she need not maintain temporary visa status (although it would be a good idea if the visa is dual intent and can be extended).
It is important to file in August! Although the visa Bulletin indicates that the F2A category is expected to remain current “for the next several months,” a higher-than-expected response level would likely change the picture. In any event, as soon as there is sufficient demand, the dates will certainly retrogress. At that point, there will be a cut-off priority date limiting who may file the I-485. In August no cut-off will apply.
What does this mean for permanent residents and their relatives? First, begin preparing your I-485 packet now; or, if applicable, the I-130 and the I-485. Both should be filed in August. If you are a U.S. Permanent Resident with a foreign national fiancé (e), marry now and file in August. Even if you are waiting to file for naturalization, secure work and travel permits for your family as soon as possible -- file as a U.S. Permanent Resident in August!
Once the dates do retrogress, only I-485 packets with a priority date before the new cut-ff will be acted on. The others will be held, and processed only when the priority date again becomes current. However, even if a petition has a priority date past that cut-off date, the beneficiary will still receive work authorization and advance parole (travel document) as long as the petition was filed in August 2013, while the category was current.
The dates on the Visa Bulletin move abruptly and unpredictably, and the F2A category is traditionally heavily over-subscribed. The August 2013 Visa Bulletin presents U.S. Permanent Residents with the rare opportunity to assure that their spouses and children will be able to remain with them no matter how long it ultimately takes for their priority dates to become current. Take advantage of that opportunity – file in August!