• See you in September: Visa Bulletin 2017

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    CRISPIN R. ARANDA

    FOR visa watchers—those waiting for their loved ones or family members to join them after that long awaited visa interview—the priority dates for September could finally end the “daily nights of being alone, and writing or emailing” as both petitioner and beneficiary maintain a long-distance relationship.

    “I’ll See You in September,” the song originally recorded by the Tempos, begin with these lines:

    “I’ll be alone each night,

    While you’re away don’t forget to write…

    See you in September.”

    If you’re feeling nostalgic, the link to the original song on video/You Tube is shown below.

    Now for the complete details of the Visa Bulletin for September 2017:

    Note: The dates with asterisks (*) are for the employment-based category EB2 for aliens with advanced degrees – masters or PhD. The “C” for each column denotes the category is current and an applicant with an approved petition filed on or earlier than the date shown in the column could immediately apply for a visa and should have had the interview scheduled at the corresponding consular post.

    FAMILY-SPONSORED CATEGORIESMovement monitoring
    From August of this year, the employment-based 2nd and 3rd preference category moved fast (seven and five months, respectively). The EB 1, 4 and 5 for the Philippines remained current. The EB2 are marked with (*)

    The Family-sponsored categories F2B (over 21 unmarried sons and daughters of green card holder) and F3 (married sons and daughters of US Citizens) moved approximately 3 weeks; the F1 category (Over 21 unmarried sons/daughters of US Citizens advanced 2 months and 2 weeks while the F4 (Brothers and sisters of US citizens moved 7 weeks.

    The priority dates on the comparative Visa Bulletin Chart refers to the FINAL ACTION dates of the State Department’s two-chart monthly releases.,

    The other chart (Dates for Filing, for both the family-sponsored and Employment-based) should be monitored as well since the cut-off dates in this chart tell visa applicants and petitioners that they can start visa processing so that when the priority date becomes current, the Beneficiary or visa applicant could immediately arrange for the Embassy interview.

    One-year deadline
    Once a visa becomes available and an immigrant visa applicant is notified of the visa availability, he or she must take action to apply for and process the visa application. Otherwise, the State Department will advise the beneficiary (principal visa applicant) that the visa application will be cancelled.

    However, the beneficiary may return a notice that accompanies the warning confirming his or her intent to pursue the application.

    DATES FOR FILINGIf no confirmation of intention is returned to the National Visa Center, the visa application or application to register as a permanent resident is terminated and the visa petition is revoked or cancelled.

    Back to the future
    Last week’s threat by President Donald Trump to cut down US legal immigration ny half – backing a merits-based bill (S. 354) by Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia is actually a rehash of a 2013 bill proposed by the Senate “Gang of Eight’ – S.744.

    S. 744’s official title is the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” a broad-based proposal for reforming the US immigration system written by a bipartisan group of eight senators.

    Of the eight, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio went on to challenge Trump during the Republican nomination and lost, while two other Republican senators from Arizona, John McCain and Jeff Flake are cactus thorns of the Trump administration.

    S.744 introduced a two-track merits points-based system: Tier 1 visas would be designated for higher-skilled immigrants with advanced educational credentials and experience, and Tier 2 would be reserved for less-skilled immigrants.

    The allocation of points in both tiers is based on a combination of factors, including education, employment, occupation, civic involvement, English language proficiency, family ties, age and nationality.

    The 2013 bill passed the Senate, but died in the House of Representatives. This year, both Houses of Congress are dominated by Republicans and in the White House lies a Republican President. The chance of the points-system this year looks good.

    Until then, and under current laws and visa allocation, we hope you see each other this September.

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