We have received many questions over the past few weeks and days about what will happen to F2A cases that were recently filed. Remember, in August and September, the F2A category was "current" meaning many spouses and minor children of permanent residents were able to file for permanent residence themselves.
However, the October visa bulletin shows a "cutoff'" date of 9/8/2013. So that means that in the month of September, it was still possible to file the I-130 and I-485 together for spouses and children of permanent residents. But what happens to your file if it was received after 9/8/2013, but before 10/1 (when the October visa bulletin comes into effect)?
If your package was received on or between 9/9/2013 and 9/30/2013, USCIS will accept the package (assuming it was properly filed) and will hold the file in abeyance. This means that USCIS will adjudicate the I-130 petition, and they may pre-adjudicate the I-485. Pre-adjudicate means they will process it as much as they can, but not approve it yet. Assuming the package is properly filed, the I-485 applicant will receive the travel document (advance parole) and the employment authorization document. However, if the package was received after 9/8/2013, USCIS will not be able to approve the I-485 until the priority date is current.
If you plan to file the I-130 petition in October 2013 in the F2A category, keep in mind that the classification is no longer "current" and therefore you cannot file the I-130 and I-485 concurrently. Also, you can file the I-130 petition, but that does not give the person you are filing for any legal status in the US.
If you have questions about your filing, or if you need to file an I-130 petition for a family member, please contact us to set a consultation (email@example.com or 804-396-3412).