US

Feb 18 2020

March 2020 Visa Bulletin: EB-3 Worldwide Retrogresses Immediately; Modest Advancement in Most Other Categories

United States

At a glance

  • As projected last month, EB-3 Worldwide, which has been current for the last several months, will retrogress immediately to January 1, 2017.  EB-3 China will advance by just under three months to March 22, 2016, and EB-3 India will advance by one week to January 15, 2009.
  • All EB-1 countries except for China and India will advance by three months to March 1, 2019. China will advance by just over one week to June 1, 2017, while India will advance by two months to March 1, 2015. 
  • EB-2 China will advance by one month to August 15, 2015, and EB-2 India will advance by three days to May 22, 2009. 
  • EB-5 China will advance by almost six months to May 15, 2015.

A closer look 

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

  • EB-1: All countries except for China and India will advance by three months to March 1, 2019. China will advance by just over one week to June 1, 2017, while India will advance by two months, to March 1, 2015. 
  • EB-2: China will advance by one month to August 15, 2015, and India will advance by three days to May 22, 2009.  All other countries will remain current. 
  • EB-3 Professional and Skilled Workers: All countries except India and China will retrogress to January 1, 2017. This retrogression will take effective immediately. USCIS is expected to continue to accept adjustment of status applications for the reminder of the month, as it has done in similar circumstances in the past. Cutoff dates for China and India will advance, with China moving ahead by almost three months to March 22, 2016, and India moving ahead by one week to January 15, 2009. 
  • EB-5: Most countries will remain current. China will advance by five and half months to May 15, 2015; India will advance by seven weeks to October 22, 2018; and Vietnam will advance by one month to January 15, 2017. 



Cutoff dates in the Dates for Filing chart for March will remain unchanged from February 2020, with the exception of EB-5 China, which will advance to December 15, 2016.

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 Dates for Filing chart or the Final Action chart.

EB-3 Worldwide retrogression expected to continue

As the State Department previously predicted, EB-3 Worldwide will retrogress due to continued high demand for immigrant visa numbers.  For March 2020, the State Department has imposed a January 1, 2017 cut-off date for all countries except India and China.  In the March Bulletin, the agency also predicts that no forward movement is expected in the foreseeable future for these newly retrogressed countries.

EB-5 China availability in the coming months

In the March Bulletin, the State Department explains that it advanced EB-5 China final action dates by more than five months in an effort to generate demand in this category. Though there has been a high volume of EB-5 petitions filed, there are currently not enough applicants at the green card stage to fully utilize the number of visas available in this fiscal year. Some corrective action may be taken in future months as more EB-5 China cases reach the final stage of green card process.

Final Action cut-off dates for March 2020

EB-1 

China: June 1, 2017

India: March 1, 2015

All other countries: March 1, 2019

EB-2  

China: August 15, 2015

India: May 22, 2009

All other countries: Current

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers  

China: March 22, 2016

India: January 15, 2009

All other countries: January 1, 2017

EB-3 Other Workers  

China: June 1, 2008

India: January 15, 2009

All other countries: January 1, 2017

EB-4 

El Salvador, Guatemala Honduras: July 15, 2016

Mexico: November 15, 2017

All other countries: Current

EB-5

China: May 15, 2015

India: October 22, 2018

Vietnam: January 15, 2017

All other countries: Current 

Dates for Filing cut-off dates for March 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: December 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.