When will RPI status applications begin?

Based on the most optimistic timeline for the passage of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (BSEOIM), it is expected that once President Barack Obama signs it into law some time this year, there are triggers that have to be met, before the USCIS will get the go-ahead to start accepting applications some time in 2014.  In addition, the USCIS has to develop the applications process and hire staff members to process the millions of applications that are expected to be filed.  Thus, I expect that the application forms will be available in the second half of next year.  Typically, it takes about six months to a year to decide an immigration case, and that means the first set of approvals should come in early 2015.  This is the timing you should plan on and I encourage you to get your documents in order for the RPI immigrant visas in the meantime and start saving the thousands of dollars you will need in fees, penalty, and back taxes.  Also remember that the window to apply will not be open-ended and will most likely be just one year (it maybe extended but it is better to not plan on it).  Therefore, it is better to file early because immigration petitions are processed on first-come-first-served basis.