Virginia, US

Nov 20 2020

December 2020 Visa Bulletin: Final Action Dates Advance in Most Categories; EB-3 India Dates for Filing Retrogresses By One Year

United States

At a glance

  • EB-1 China and EB-1 India Final Action dates will advance by four months to April 1, 2019. 
  • EB-2 China will advance by over one week to May 1, 2016, and EB-2 India will advance by over one week to October 1, 2009.
  • EB-3 China will advance one month to November 1, 2017, and EB-3 India will advance two weeks to March 15, 2010.
  • EB-5 China will remain at August 15, 2015, and EB-5 Vietnam will advance by two weeks to September 1, 2017. 
  • The Dates for Filing cutoff for EB-3 India will retrogress by one year. Dates for Filing for the remaining categories are largely unchanged from November or advance moderately. 

A closer look 

According to the State Department’s December Visa Bulletin, final action cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows: 

  • EB-1: All countries except for China and India will remain current in November. China and India will advance by four months to April 1, 2019.
  • EB-2: China and India will each advance by over one week, to May 1, 2016 and October 1, 2009, respectively. All other countries will remain current.
  • EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers: Cutoff dates for China will advance one month to November 1, 2017, and for India will advance two weeks to March 15, 2010.  All other countries will remain current in November.
  • EB-5: The Non-Regional Center programs will remain current for all countries except China and Vietnam. China will remain at August 15, 2015, while Vietnam will advance by two weeks to September 1, 2017. The Regional Center program is set to expire at midnight on December 11, 2020 and will become unavailable at that time unless reauthorized.

 

In the coming days, USCIS is expected to announce on its own Visa Bulletin web page the cutoff dates for acceptance of adjustment of status applications next month. That announcement will clarify whether USCIS will accept adjustment applications based on the Final Action dates chart, or on the Dates for Filing Chart as it has for the last two months.

The December Dates for Filing chart shows moderate advancement in most employment-based categories, but a one-year retrogression in the EB-3 India category. 

Impact of Presidential Proclamation

As a reminder, President Trump’s April 22 proclamation temporarily suspending the entry of certain immigrants remains in place through December 31, 2020. The proclamation continues to limit the issuance of immigrant visas by U.S. consulates abroad.

Impact of possible program expirations

The EB-4 Non-Minister Religious Worker and EB-5 Regional Center programs are set to expire on December 11 and December 12, 2020, respectively. Unless Congress reauthorizes these programs or passes a temporary spending measure, immigrant visas in these subcategories will become unavailable on their expiration dates. The EB-5 Non-Regional Center program will not be affected.

Should the EB-5 Regional Center program be reauthorized, cut-off dates will continue to mirror the dates for the Non-Regional Center program in December.

Final Action cut-off dates for December 2020

EB-1 

China: April 1, 2019

India: April 1, 2019

All other countries: Current                                                                            

EB-2  

China: May 1, 2016

India: October 1, 2009

All other countries: Current

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers  

China: November 1, 2017

India: March 15, 2010

All other countries: Current

EB-3 Other Workers  

China: February 15, 2009

India: March 15, 2010

All other countries: Current

EB-4

El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras: February 1, 2018

Mexico: November 22, 2018

All other countries: Current

EB-5

China: August 15, 2015

Vietnam: September 1, 2017

All other countries: Current

Dates for Filing cut-off dates for December 2020

EB-1  

China: November 1, 2020 

India: November 1, 2020 

All other countries: Current

EB-2  

China: October 1, 2016

India: May 15, 2011 

All other countries: Current  

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers  

China: June 1, 2018

India: January 1, 2014

All other countries: Current

EB-3 Other Workers  

China: May 1, 2009

India: January 1, 2014

All other countries: Current

EB-4* 

El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras: May 1, 2018

All other countries: Current

*Non-minister special immigrant religious worker program will become unavailable at midnight on December 10 unless reauthorized by legislation. 

EB-5*  

China: December 15, 2015

All other countries: Current

*Regional Center program will become unavailable at midnight on December 11 unless reauthorized by legislation.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.