The December 2020 Visa Bulletin was released earlier this afternoon/evening. No major changes to note other than the date for filing for EB3 India retrogressing a full year, likely as a result of the significant amount of downgrade filings from the EB2 India category. The EB1 China and EB1 India categories continue to see fairly rapid movement, whereas movement has somewhat slowed in some of the other employment-based categories. Additionally, USCIS has indicated that the Dates for Filing chart is once again to be used this month by applicants filing for their greencards, meaning that this unique filing window and opportunity will continue to be available through the month of December as well. We urge our clients and readers to get your greencard applications filed, if you are able to do so. We stand ready to assist you in all of your immigration-related needs.
For all countries except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico: F2A category priority date remains current, F2B preference remains at a PD of 8 July 2015, F4 category remains at 22 September 2006; EB1 remains current; EB2 remains current; and EB3 is now current.
For India only: F2A category remains current, F2B preference remains at 8 July 2015, F4 remains at a PD of 8 March 2005; EB1 advances 121 days to a PD of 1 April 2019; EB2 advances 9 days to 1 October 2009; EB3 advances 14 days to a PD of 15 March 2010; EB5 Non-Regional Center and Regional Center remains current.
For China only: EB1 advances 121 days to a PD of 1 April 2019; EB2 advances 9 days to a PD of 1 May 2016; EB3 advances 31 days to a PD of 1 November 2017; EB5 Non-Regional Center and Regional Center remains at a PD of 15 August 2015.
For Vietnam only: EB5 Non-Regional Center and Regional Center remains at a PD of 15 August 2017 as well.
Can file your immigrant applications if PD before:
F2A 1 August 2020; F2B 1 May 2016 for All Areas, except 1 December 1999 for Mexico and 1 April 2012 for Philippines; F4 15 September 2007 for All Areas, except 22 November 2005 for India, 22 April 1999 for Mexico, and 1 September 2002 for Philippines.
EB1 Current for all countries, except 1 November 2020 for China and 1 September 2020 for India; EB2 All countries except India and China are current; EB3 Current for all countries except India, China, and Philippines; EB2 India remains at 15 May 2011; EB3 India retrogresses a full year to 1 January 2014; EB2 China remains at 1 October 2016; EB3 China remains at 1 June 2018; EB5 China (RC and Non-RC) remains at 15 December 2015; Vietnam is not individually listed and should use the all countries category.
Notes copied from the Department of State regarding Visa availability:
D. FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON VISA PROCESSING AT U.S. EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PLEASE VISIT THE BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS WEBSITE AT TRAVEL.STATE.GOV
E. SCHEDULED EXPIRATION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT VISA CATEGORIES
The Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act (P.L. 116-159) extends both the Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR) and Employment Fifth Preference Pilot (I5 and R5) Categories until December 11, 2020.
Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR):
Pursuant to the continuing resolution, the non-minister special immigrant program expires on December 11, 2020. No SR visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after midnight December 10, 2020. Visas issued prior to this date will only be issued with a validity date of December 10, 2020, and all individuals seeking admission as a non-minister special immigrant must be admitted (repeat, admitted) into the U.S. no later than midnight December 10, 2020. If there is legislative action extending this category, the December dates would be applied for the entire month. If there is no legislative action extending this category, the category will become “Unavailable” effective midnight December 10, 2020.
Employment Fifth Preference Categories (I5 and R5):
Pursuant to the continuing resolution, the immigrant investor pilot program is extended until December 11, 2020. The I5 and R5 visas may be issued until close of business on December 11, 2020, 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 December 11, 2020. If there is legislative action extending these categories, the December dates would be applied for the entire month. If there is no legislative action extending this category, the category will become “Unavailable” effective midnight, December 11, 2020.
Notes from Tahmina:
In light of the No-RFE memo as well the NTA memos, it is important that those waiting to receive their greencards maintain their underlying visa status.
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