The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for the month of February 2020 notes that since October 2019, there has been a consistently high level of employment-based demand, primarily for adjustment of status cases filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This trend is particularly apparent in the employment third and third preference “Other Worker” categories. Unless there is a “sudden and dramatic decrease” in the level of such demand, it will be necessary to implement a ‘Rest of World’ Final Action Date for the month of March, the bulletin states.
The bulletin notes that the Final Action Date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits. If it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a Final Action Date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new Final Action Date as announced in the bulletin. If at any time an annual limit were reached, it would be necessary to immediately make the preference category “unavailable,” and no further requests for numbers would be honored, the bulletin states.
According to reports, for February, USCIS will accept employment-based adjustment applications with priority dates earlier than the Dates for Filing as listed in the bulletin’s chart B, with some exceptions. For all EB-3 countries (except India, China, and the Philippines), USCIS will accept applications according to the Final Action Dates (chart A). (Most EB-3 countries are Current for February.)
Also, according to Charles Oppenheim of the Department of State’s Visa Office, as reported by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the EB-1 Worldwide category could become Current in the summer of 2020, although this is not certain. In February, the Final Action Date for the EB-5 China category advances one week to December 1, 2014. Mr. Oppenheim noted that in the future, this category may advance more rapidly than previously anticipated. Also in February, the Final Action Date for EB-5 India advances four months to September 1, 2018, and the Final Action Date for EB-5 Vietnam advances one week to December 15, 2016.
The bulletin for January 2020 predicts the following with respect to likely movement in the employment-based categories, which seems to have held up for the most part in the February bulletin:
Worldwide: Rapid forward movement expected, potentially becoming Current
China: Up to three weeks
India: Little if any forward movement expected
Worldwide: A date will most likely be imposed during the second half of the fiscal year
China: Up to one month
India: Up to one week
Worldwide: A date will most likely be imposed by March
China: Up to six weeks
India: Up to three weeks
Mexico: Will remain at the Worldwide date
Philippines: Up to one month
Employment Third – Other Workers:
Worldwide: A date will most likely be imposed no later than March
Employment Fourth: Current for most countries
El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras: Little if any movement through May
India: A date will most likely be imposed by July
Mexico: Limited forward movement
Employment Fifth: Current for most countries
China: It may be possible to advance the date at a slightly faster pace
India: Likely to advance at a very rapid pace until the level of demand increases
Vietnam: Limited forward movement
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