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Department of State publishes October 2020 Visa Bulletin and USCIS to Honor Dates of Filing for Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Preference Categories Next Month

Published on September 24, 2020

According to the State Department’s October Visa Bulletin, cut-off dates for the issuance of employment-based immigrant visas will advance significantly under several preference categories. Also, USCIS has announced that it will accept family-based and employment-based Adjustment of Status (AOS) applications based on the Dates for Filing chart, which is a departure from its prior policy of only accepting AOS applications based on the Final Action Dates chart.

This means that many individuals with pending or approved I-140 immigrant petitions on their behalf (and their dependent family members) will be eligible to file an I-485 Adjustment of Status application during the month of October. Specifically, for individuals born in India and China who fall under the EB-1 category, the cut-off date will advance to September 1, 2020. For individuals born in India, the filing cut-off date under the EB-3 category will advance to January 1, 2015, and to May 15, 2011 under the EB-2 category. For individuals born in China, the cut-off date will advance to June 1, 2018 under the EB-3 category, and October 1, 2016 under the EB-2 category. For “All Chargeability,” which includes individuals born in most other countries, the cut-off date will be current under the EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 preference categories.

For some individuals, they may be eligible to file an AOS application if their preference category is “downgraded” from the EB-2 to the EB-3 preference category by filing a new I-140 petition under the EB-3 category. We recommend consulting with your immigration attorney at Ryan Swanson regarding this option.

The State Department has significantly increased the annual limit for employment-based immigrant visas to 261,500. This increase is largely due to a slowdown in family-based immigrant visa processing in FY-2020 due to the COVID pandemic, reduced consular operations, and the Presidential Proclamation suspending certain immigrant visas. Current demand for visa numbers is well below the estimated annual limit of 261,500, according to the State Department. As a result, significant advancement in many employment-based preference categories is anticipated in the coming months.

The Immigration Group at Ryan Swanson has the expertise and capacity to assist employers and individuals with your employment-based and family-based green card applications. Please reach out to our immigration team if you have any questions or need assistance.

Amy Royalty can be reached at [email protected].
Marsha Mavunkel can be reached at [email protected].
Janet Cheetham can be reached at [email protected].
Joel Paget can be reached at [email protected].
Cody Nunn can be reached at [email protected].
Jen Chen can be reached at [email protected].

This message has been released by the Immigration Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.

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