Connecticut, US

Dec 18 2019

January 2020 Visa Bulletin: Modest Employment-Based Cut-Off Date Advancements for Most Countries; EB-1 Worldwide Could Become Current in Coming Months, but EB-3 Worldwide Expected to Retrogress

United States

At a glance

  • All EB-1 countries except for China and India will advance by 2.5 months to October 1, 2018. China will advance by one week to May 22, 2017, while India will remain at January 1, 2015.
  • EB-2 China will advance by one week, to July 1, 2015, and EB-2 India will advance by three days, to May 18, 2009.
  • EB-3 China will advance by one month, to December 1, 2015 and EB-3 Philippines will advance by two weeks, to March 15, 2018.  EB-3 India will remain unchanged.
  • EB-1 Worldwide is expected to advance rapidly in the coming months and could become current by April 2020, while EB-3 Worldwide is expected to retrogress by March 2020.

A closer look 

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

  • EB-1: All EB-1 countries except for China and India will advance by 2.5 months to October 1, 2018. China will advance by one week to May 22, 2017, while India will remain at January 1, 2015.
  • EB-2: China will advance by one week to July 1, 2015, while India will advance by three days, to May 18, 2009. The Philippines will become current, while all other countries will remain current.
  • EB-3 Professional and Skilled Workers: EB-3 China will advance by one month, to December 1, 2015 and EB-3 Philippines will advance by two weeks, to March 15, 2018.  EB-3 India will remain unchanged at January 1, 2009.
  • EB-5 Non-Regional Center Program: Most countries will remain current. China will advance by one week to November 22, 2014; India will advance by four months to May 1, 2018; and Vietnam will advance by one week to December 8, 2016.
  • EB-5 Regional Center Program: As discussed below, the Regional Center program is set to expire on December 20, 2019. If, as expected, it is reauthorized, the Regional Center cut-off dates will match the Non-Regional Center dates.

 

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. It is not yet known whether USCIS will again accept adjustment applications based on the Dates for Filing chart, rather than the Final Action chart, as it has done for the last several months.

The January Dates for Filing chart see EB-1 current for all countries except India and China.  Dates for Filing for EB-3 worldwide will retrogress to January 1, 2019, after being current in December. Other cutoff dates in the Dates for Filing chart will remain unchanged from December 2019.

Impact of possible program expirations

The EB-4 Non-Minister Religious Worker and EB-5 Regional Center programs are set to expire on December 20, 2019. If, as expected, Congress passes a reauthorization through September 30, 2020, these categories will follow the cut-off dates listed below in January. 

Immigrant visa availability in the coming months

In the January Bulletin, the State Department includes projections of immigrant visa availability through April or May 2020, as follows:

EB-1 worldwide is expected to advance rapidly for the next several months and could become current.  EB-1 China is expected to advance by up to three weeks per month, but little or no movement is expected for EB-1 India.

In the EB-2 category, China is expected to advance up to one month per month, while India is expected to advance by up to one week per month.  EB-2 worldwide is expected to retrogress during the second half of FY 2020.

EB-3 worldwide is expected to retrogress by March 2020.  EB-3 China is projected to advance by up to six weeks per month and India by up to three weeks per month.  EB-3 Philippines is expected to advance by up to one month per month.  In the EB-3 other worker subcategory, a worldwide cutoff date is likely by March 2020.

In the EB-5 subcategory, India is likely to advance rapidly in the coming months, while China is expected to advance at a slightly faster pace than in the past.  Limited advancement is expected for Vietnam.  For all other countries, the category is likely to remain current.

 

FINAL ACTION CUT-OFF DATES FOR JANUARY 2020

EB-1 

China: May 22, 2017

India: January 1, 2015

All other countries: October 1, 2018

EB-2  

China: July 1, 2015

India: May 18, 2009

All other countries: Current

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers  

China: December 1, 2015

India: January 1, 2009

Philippines: March 15, 2018

All other countries: Current

EB-3 Other Workers  

China: April 1, 2008

India: January 1, 2009

Philippines: March 15, 2018

All other countries: Current

EB-4* 

El Salvador, Guatemala Honduras: July 1, 2016

Mexico: August 8, 2017

All other countries: Current

*Non-minister special immigrant religious worker program will be unavailable unless reauthorized by legislation. If reauthorized, it will match the above dates.

EB-5* 

China: November 22, 2014 

India: May 1, 2018

Vietnam: December 8, 2016

All other countries: Current 

*Regional Center program will be unavailable unless reauthorized by legislation. If reauthorized, it will match the above dates.

 

DATES FOR FILING CUT-OFF DATES FOR JANUARY 2020

EB-1  

China: October 1, 2017 

India: March 15, 2017

All other countries: Current

EB-2  

China: August 1, 2016

India: July 1, 2009 

All other countries: Current  

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers  

China: March 1, 2017

India: February 1, 2010

All other countries: January 1, 2019 

EB-3 Other Workers  

China: August 1, 2008

India: February 1, 2010

All other countries: January 1, 2019 

EB-4 

El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras: August 15, 2016

All other countries: Current 

EB-5  

China: May 15, 2015

All other countries: Current  

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