Published:  July 16, 2013

As noted in the latest State Department Visa Bulletin, as of August 1 there is immediate visa availability for spouses and under 21 year old children of U.S. lawful permanent residents.  This is a particularly noteworthy development for this category of family currently present in the U.S., since they MAY be eligible to apply for adjustment of status in the U.S. as of August 1, undergo all permanent resident processing in the U.S. and obtain an employment authorization document while the process is pending.

Immediate visa availability is usually only at play for spouses of U.S. citizens, but the stars have lined up with regard to visa demand and distribution in the Family 2A preference such that as of August 1, there exists no visa line.  Of course – and importantly, eligibility to adjust status in the U.S. also depends on whether the foreign spouse/children at issue are in lawful immigration status or if not, qualify to adjust per INA 245(i).  Family 2A preference family members living abroad may also benefit from this development, but only if such immediately visa availability persists for the next 2 or 3 months.

Also important is the fact that at some point in the future, whether next month, or later, immediate visa availability for the Family 2A category can become quick history, with visa retrogression being a very real possibility in the coming months.  However, for those eligible applicants who file for adjustment of status in the U.S. in August, the good news is that such applicants can wait out visa availability in the U.S., and with employment authorization, notwithstanding future visa retrogression.

PUBLISHED July 16, 2013 – “IMMIGRATION LAW FORUM” Copyright © 2013, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois