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November 2019 Visa Bulletin Commentary

After another longer-than-usual wait, the November 2019 Visa Bulletin was finally released yesterday. No particularly noteworthy developments this month. Most categories saw a decent amount of forward movement, with the exception of EB1 India, which remained at its 1 January 2015 priority date. The outlook for that category is not ideal, as it is expected to see little to no movement until possibly January. We have read that there are currently over 16,000 Indian nationals in this category in the United States who have been interviewed and whose greencards have been approved, and are simply waiting for visas to become available. All indications appear that this visa category will be backlogged for years to come.

 

Commentary:

 

November 2019

 

For all countries except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico: F2A category priority date remains current, F2B preference advances 37 days to a PD of 8 July 2014, F4 category advances 40 days to 1 January 2007; EB1 advances 40 days to 1 June 2018; EB2 remains current; and EB3 remains current.

 

For India only: F2A category remains current, F2B preference advances 37 days to 8 July 2014, F4 advances 14 days to a PD of 15 October 2004; EB1 remains at a PD of 1 January 2015; EB2 advances 1 day to 13 May 2009; EB3 remains at a PD of 1 January 2009; EB5 Non-Regional Center advances 16 days to a PD of 8 December 2017; EB5 Regional Center is again available with a PD of 8 December 2017.

 

For China only: EB1 advances 92 days to a PD of 1 February 2017; EB2 advances 72 days to a PD of 15 March 2015; EB3 remains at a PD of 1 November 2015; EB5 Non-Regional Center advances 10 days to a PD of 1 November 2014; EB5 Regional Center is again available with a PD of 1 November 2014.

 

For Vietnam only: EB5 Non-Regional Center advances 31 days to a PD of 15 November 2016; EB5 Regional Center is again available with a PD of 15 November 2016.

 

Can file your immigrant applications if PD before:

 

F2A 1 September 2019; F2B 8 January 2015 for All Areas, except 22 April 1999 for Mexico and 1 April 2009 for Philippines; F4 1 July 2007 for All Areas, except 15 June 2005 for India, 1 January 1999 for Mexico, and 1 March 1999 for Philippines.

 

EB1 1 July 2019 for all countries, except 1 September 2017 for China and 15 March 2017 for India; EB2 All countries except India and China are current; EB3 All countries except India, China, and Philippines are current; EB2 India remains at 1 July 2009; EB3 India remains at 1 February 2010; EB2 China remains at 1 August 2016; EB3 China remains at 1 March 2017; EB5 China (RC and Non-RC) remains at 1 January 2015; Vietnam is not individually listed and should use the all countries category.

 

Notes from Tahmina:

 

In light of the No-RFE memo as well the NTA memos, it is important that those waiting to receive their green cards maintain their underlying visa status.

 

Notes copied from the Department of State regarding Visa availability:

 

D.  EXPIRATION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT VISA CATEGORIES

Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR):

Pursuant to the continuing resolution (H.R. 4378 – Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020, and Health Extenders Act of 2019), signed on September 27, 2019, the non-minister special immigrant program expires on November 21, 2019. No SR visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after midnight November 20, 2019. Visas issued prior to this date will only be issued with a validity date of November 20, 2019, and all individuals seeking admission as a non-minister special immigrant must be admitted (repeat, admitted) into the U.S. no later than midnight November 20, 2019.

The final action date for this category has been listed as “Current” for November for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, which are subject to specific final action dates for November. If there is no legislative action extending this category for FY-2020, the final action date would immediately become “Unavailable” for November for all countries effective November 21, 2019.

Employment Fifth Preference Categories (I5 and R5):

Pursuant to the continuing resolution (H.R. 4378 – Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020, and Health Extenders Act of 2019), signed on September 27, 2019, the immigrant investor pilot program is extended until November 21, 2019. The I5 and R5 visas may be issued until close of business on November 21, 2019, and may be issued for the full validity period. No I5 or R5 visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after November 21, 2019.

The final action dates for the I5 and R5 categories have been listed as “Current” for November for all countries except China-mainland born, India, and Vietnam, which are subject to specific final action dates for November. If there is no legislative action extending these categories for FY-2020, the final action dates would immediately become “Unavailable” for November for all countries effective November 22, 2019.

 

 

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