When can we file the last step, Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) or consular processing?
The answer is, we can file the Form I-485 or CP ONLY when a permanent visa is available for you. The permanent visa availability is announced by the US State Department every month in a publication called “Visa Bulletin.” See our web site. It lists the categories by countries of birth and then states which “priority dates” will now be processed. The critical point to remember is that your priority date would be the date the application is first filed with SESA in both RIR as well as non-RIR cases. Thus the priority date is 1 January 1996 in the case we have described above. If a visa category is too backed up, it does not matter how quickly you get a labor certification. You may still end up waiting a long time to file your last step, Form I-485.