July Visa Bulletin Mess Update

In light of the revision of the July Visa Bulletin, USCIS has announced that it is rejecting applications to adjust status filed by foreign citizens whose priority dates are not current under the revised July Visa Bulletin. It seems the actions by DOS and USCIS are illegal.

The revision to the July Visa Bulletin in effect is a new agency "rule" that required prior public notice and an opportunity to comment before the change could take effect under the Administrative Procedure Act. The revision to the July Visa Bulletin and the actions in response taken by USCIS violate the requirements of President Bush's January 18, 2007, Executive Order requiring prior review of "significant guidance documents" by the Office of Management and Budget.

It is also clear that these agency actions are contrary to settled agency practice. For many years, DOS's practice has been to maintain the immigrant visa cut-off dates in place during the entire month for which the Visa Bulletin is published. The public, employers, foreign nationals, and the legal community all have relied on the agency's longstanding practice. Because DOS and USCIS provided no advance notice or opportunity for comment, the revised July Visa Bulletin should not be given legal effect.

The Legal Action Center of the American Immigration Law Foundation (AILF) will file a lawsuit seeking to reverse these agency actions and require the acceptance of adjustment of status applications during the month of July.

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