As anticipated with the imminent start of fiscal year 2020, several developments are on the horizon:
- Visa numbers in the EB-1 preference category for all countries, as well as EB-2/EB-3 categories for Indian and Chinese-born applicants remain backlogged for October, according to the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for October 2019. Otherwise, the bulletin reflects substantial forward movement. Many categories are listed as “current”, including EB-2/EB-3 categories for non-Indian and Chinese-born applicants.
- The House of Representatives voted to extend the EB-5 regional center category through November 21, 2019. However, the Senate vote on this is expected imminently.
- Beneficiaries of employment-based immigrant petitions may use the more favorable “Dates for Filing” rather than the “Final Action Dates” (priority dates) to file adjustment of status applications in October. This differs from recent months in which applications could be filed based on the severely backlogged Final Action Dates.
USCIS has explained that, if the agency determines that there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, it permits use of the Dates for Filing chart. Otherwise, USCIS requires use of the Final Action Dates chart to determine when an applicant may file an adjustment of status application. However, if a particular immigrant visa category is current on the Final Action Dates chart and ironically the Dates for Filing has retrogressed, or the cutoff date on the Final Action Dates chart is later than the date on the Dates for Filing chart, applicants in that immigrant visa category may file using the more favorable Final Action Dates chart during that month.
Contact your WR attorney for help in preparing adjustment of status applications for October and for advice in specific situations.