June 29, 2007
Due to the State Department's surprise move in making nearly all employment-based immigrant preference categories "current" for the month of July, a floodgate was opened for applicants who have long waited for their "priority date" to become current, and suddenly everyone with an approved labor certification is eligible to file for AOS (Adjustment of Status). The challenge this presents to law firms, including ILG, is tremendous.
We have taken immediate steps to meet this challenge by hiring new employees and converting our PT employees to FT employees. Everyone is working longer hours to assist as many of our clients, as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, there are also some challenges that are out of our hands, beginning with whether the priority cutoff dates for August will retrogress. If the immigrant preference categories remain "current" for August, there will be ample time to file everyone's case, even for applicants that have delayed the process due to their travels abroad or were simply slow in gathering the required documents. ILG is currently operating under the assuming that the cutoff dates will return in August and thus, we anticipate being able to file every client's application by the end of the month, provided there are no significant delays by the applicants themselves.
More troubling are speculations that USCIS may try to reject applications in July due to unavailabilty of immigrant visa (green card), despite the visa bulletin's clear indication to the contrary. Some even fear that the published July bulletin will be revised. However, both of these scenarios have never occurred in history, and would arguably be acting contrary to current regulations.
The challenge to applicants is also exacerbated by the shortage of appointments with physicians for the required medical exams due to the surge in demand. USCIS has made it clear to attorneys that it will reject applications filed without medical exams.
Given these challenges and the extraordinary demand on ILG over the next few weeks, we ask that all applicants refrain from unnecessary phone calls and emails to ILG's staff. We completely appreciate the importance of the AOS process to our clients, which is why we want to be as efficient as possible, and that is best achieved when distraction from constant phone calls and emails are minimized.
By mid-July, many of the above questions will be answered and we will continue to keep our clients informed as well as discuss the best strategy going forward.