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The State Department announced on its Visa Bulletin definitive action with the date of January 2010 for the first EB-4 visas for Special Immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. This means that from May, applicants from these countries that submitted requests Special Immigrants in January first, 2010 or after this date may not get an immigrant visa or adjustment of status until new visas available. These three countries have reached their limit legislative and congressional mandate for fiscal 2016, which ends Sept. 30. Information on the EB-4 visa availability for FY 2017 will be published in September this year.

The EB-4 visas for Special Immigrants include individuals who may be eligible for lawful permanent resident based on specific classifications, including the status of special immigration status of Youth (SIJS), for children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected by one or both parents. The petitioners of any country, including El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras can continue the Special Immigrant request because there is no annual limit on the number of requests for special immigrant USCIS approved. However, USCIS will continue to accept applications submitted correctly and applications for permanent residence under the EB-4 classification only until 30 April 2016. In addition, USCIS will process and make a decision on applications for residence only if you have a petition filed before January 1, 2010, if finally approved.

If you have a pending Petition for Special Immigrant filed on January 1, 2010 or after this date, USCIS will process and make a decision on his request but will retain the decision to approve his application for residency until the EB-04 visas are available. If you plan to apply for residence under the EB-4 classification after April 30, 2016, the USCIS will process and make a decision on their application for residence only if you filed your application before January 1, 2010 , and request is finally approved. USCIS will return other residency applications but will continue the process of Petition for Special Immigrant.

We have successfully obtained the special immigrant status and permanent residence for many children who have been abandoned or abused by a parent. Unfortunately this limit visas may restrict the ability to obtain this benefit for many abandoned children.

For more information can listen to the program’s Truth Law every day at 7:30 am or can download the mobile application on your cell phone.

Attorney Stefan Latorre has offices in Charlotte, Monroe, Greensboro, Durham and Hickory in North Carolina; Columbia and Greenville in South Carolina; and Jacksonville in Florida. For a consultation, call 1.800.966.6769.