Published on October 30, 2020
On October 29, 2020, the Department of State finally published the November Visa Bulletin confirming that cut-off dates for family-based and employment-based green cards will remain largely the same for November. Notably, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will continue to use the “Dates for Filing” chart in lieu of the “Final Action Dates” chart for both family and employment-based Adjustment of Status (AOS) applications.
November marks the second month in a row that USCIS has permitted filings based on the “Dates for Filing” rather than the “Final Action Dates” chart. Consequently, those individuals who were eligible in October to file family and employment-based green card applications will remain able to file through the month of November.
Specifically, for individuals born in India and China who fall under the EB-1 category, the cut-off date will remain September 1, 2020. For individuals born in India, the cut-off date under the EB-2 preference category will be May 15, 2011, and January 1, 2015 under the EB-3 category. For individuals born in China, the EB-2 cut-off date remains October 1, 2016, and the EB-3 cut-off date will be June 1, 2018. For “All Chargeability,” which includes individuals born in most other countries, the cut-off will remain current under each of the EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 preference categories. The only category moving forward since October is the “Other Workers” preference category for individuals born in China, which will advance from October 1, 2008 to May 1, 2009.
As background, the Department of State issues a Visa Bulletin each month, establishing cut-off dates for each preference category, that indicate which applicants are eligible to file an Adjustment of Status (AOS) or “green card” application with USCIS. In order to be eligible to apply for AOS, an individual’s priority date must be on or before the cut-off date for the individual’s preference category published in most recent Visa Bulletin. In October, the Department of State significantly advanced the cut-off dates for many employment-based preference categories. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reduced Consular operations around the world, and the Presidential Proclamation suspending certain immigrant visas, there was a significant slowdown in family-based immigrant visa processing during the 2020 fiscal year. As a result, a high number of additional immigrant visas have become available for employment-based immigrant visas, which the Department of State has indicated is likely to continue in the coming months.
We recommend consulting with your immigration attorney at Ryan Swanson regarding your eligibility to apply for a green card based on the cut-off dates for November.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact any member of the Immigration Group at Ryan Swanson.
Amy Royalty can be reached at [email protected].
Jen Chen can be reached at [email protected].
Cody Nunn 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].
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.