Each month, the American Immigration Lawyers Association's Department of State (DOS) Liaison Committee checks in with Charlie Oppenheim, the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division at DOS for updates about Visa Bulletin progress. During these meetings, Charlie analyzes trends and offers predictions on visa processing. Here are some highlights from his analysis that was shared with AILA. Though there are reduced processing from the Department of State and USCIS due to COVID-19, they are working closely to process applications that can be finalized this fiscal year.
Below are some of Charlie's projections for the employment-based preference categories for the coming months. USCIS has allowed applicants to use the "Dates for Advanced Filing" chart (or "Chart B") for the month of October. Chart B for the October 2020 Visa Bulletin provides very substantial forward movement for all categories of employment-based immigrants but provides particularly welcome relief for persons born in India in the EB-2 and EB-3 categories.
Why the big push forward? According to page 8 of the visa bulletin, DOS moved all the Final Action and Application Filing dates forward in anticipation of the FY2021 annual limit being 261,500, an all-time high. DOS consulted with USCIS Office of Policy and Strategy to accommodate processing plans for USCIS offices during the coming fiscal year and to maximize the number use within the FY2021 annual limits.
Pending AOS and IV cases are well below the estimated annual limit. DOS said that AOS applications filed early in FY2021 are most likely to be adjudicated during the upcoming fiscal year.
- EB-1 India moves ahead a few months to 01JUNE18
- EB-2 India moves ahead to 01SEPT09
- EB-3 India moves ahead to 15JAN10
- EB-5 India Non-Regional Center (C5 and T5) remains CURRENT
- EB-5 India Regional Center (I5 and R5) will be UNAVAILABLE
- EB-1 China moves ahead a few months to 01JUNE18
- EB-2 China moves ahead to 01MAR16
- EB-3 China remains the same to 01JUL17
- EB-5 China Non-Regional Center (C5 and T5) remains at 15AUG15
- EB-5 China Regional Center (I5 and R5) will be UNAVAILABLE
If you have any questions about these highlighted projections or categories, please contact one of the employment-based immigration lawyers at Klasko Immigration.
UPDATE 9/30/2020: This post was updated to reflect USCIS allowing the use of Chart B.
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