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Friday, October 23, 2015

The New Dual Chart System: October 2015 Visa Bulletin

For the past several decades, the State Department’s monthly published Visa Bulletin has announced “cut off” dates to determine where immigrant visa applicants were in the various quota queues applicable to family, employment-based and Diversity-based immigrant visa categories. On September 9, 2015, the US Department of State announced a new system for determining eligibility to file for permanent residency.

As of October 1st, in an effort to maximize immigrant visa usage in a fiscal year, the Department of State has established a system where there are two different dates to track. “Application Final Action Dates” (AFADs) are essentially the cut off dates that have always appeared in the Visa Bulletin. “Dates for Filing Applications” (DFAs) are the dates applicants proceeding with consular processing of green cards should be notified to begin gathering documents for submission to the National Visa Center.

The new system applies to the family and employment-based green card categories. The Diversity Visa cut off system is not changed and one chart remains applicable in that category.
The DFAs are anywhere from several months to several years later than the AFADs. Here are the differences on the October Bulletin.