Washington, D.C. – September 29, 2020: The U.S. Department of State recently published the much-anticipated monthly Visa Bulletin for October, 2020.
Employment Based Green Cards
The U.S. Department of State concluded its calculations of the employment-based immigrant visa annual limit for FY 2021, which is anticipated to be 261,500, an all-time high.
The October, 2020 Visa Bulletin shows rapid advancement in the final action dates and dates for filing of all of the EB categories that were not already current, with the exception of the EB-5 categories.
A slowdown in family-based immigrant visa processing in FY 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reduced consular operations, issuance of Presidential Proclamation 10014 (PP 10014), which suspends the entry of certain immigrants, and other country-specific travel bans have all contributed to the much higher employment-based limit in FY 2021. As a result, advancements in many employment-based categories are anticipated in the coming months, as detailed below.
October 2020 – Final Action Dates
China – August 15, 2015
Vietnam – August 1, 2017
All other countries – Current.
*EB-5 Regional Center Program was recently extended by Congressional Continuing Resolution until December 11th, 2020.
October 2020 – Dates For Filing
China – December 15, 2015
All other countries – Current.
Significantly, USCIS has confirmed that individuals filing for adjustment of status in October of 2020. This information is provided by USCIS on a monthly basis on their website here: https://www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo
Employment Visa Availability in the Coming Months
The October, 2020 Visa Bulletin also provides projections for immigrant visa availability through January 2021. The Department predicts the following potential monthly cut-off date movements:
EB-5: Remain current for all countries except China and Vietnam. No forward movement for China and limited forward movement for Vietnam.
President Trump’s proclamation temporarily suspending the entry of certain immigrants was extended on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, through December 31, 2020 and may be continued or modified as necessary. This proclamation will continue limit the issuance of certain immigrant visas by U.S. consulates abroad.
Notably, on October a federal court issued an injunction that bars the President from suspending the issuance of new temporary work visas to the US in the L1A, L1B and H1B classifications.
The President’s order, issued in June, effectively shut down the most commonly used US temporary work visa programs until December 31, 2020, at the earliest.
Unfortunately, US Consulates abroad remain closed or on minimal operations due to the COVID19 pandemic. Obtaining visa appointment at US Consulates abroad has become a huge cause for delay in US visa processing throughout the world. Thus, the federal court’s decision may not have immediate impact.
Our thanks to Donoso & Partners, a leading immigration law firm based in Washington, D.C., for providing the full news article from which this bulletin is drawn.