A foreign national can file an application to become a permanent resident if the foreign national has an immediately available visa. A petitioner files an immigrant petition on behalf of a foreign national to establish the foreign national’s eligibility to immigrate to the United States and the US government sets aside an immigrant visa for the foreign national based on the approved immigrant petition. The immigrant petition can be based on family relationship or on employment, and the filing date of the petition with USCIS determines the “priority date” of the foreign national for purposes of visa availability.
USCIS announced that for the purposes of adjustment of status, it will not be bound by the State Department decision, but it will decide every month which date to use – the “filing date” or the “final action date” from the Visa Bulletin. For the month of October, the USCIS will accept adjustment applications earlier as it will use the October Visa Bulletin “filing date” for all family based categories and for most employment based categories. People who qualify should file as soon as possible before the November Visa Bulletin as the USCIS may change its mind at that time.