Employment-Based Progression in the October 2020 Visa Bulletin and Related News
With the new fiscal year approaching on October 1st, the U.S. Department of State has announced the per-country priority date cut-offs in its just-released October 2020 Visa Bulletin.
As expected, there has been forward movement in many categories due to the new allocation of immigrant visa numbers. The EB-3 “All Chargeability” category made the most significant forward progression and will be current. Meanwhile, the EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 preference categories for individuals born in India advance by at least two years and up to nearly five years under the Dates for Filing chart.
By way of background, the monthly visa bulletins indicate who may file a “Green Card” (Adjustment of Status) application based on their “priority date”—the date when an application for PERM Labor Certification was filed to the Department of Labor, or the date that an I-140 petition was filed to USCIS where a PERM filing was not required.
On September 24, 2020, USCIS announced on its website that in the F2A category, there is a cutoff date on the Dates for Filing chart. However, the category is “current” on the Final Action Dates chart. Therefore, applicants in the F2A category may file using the Final Action Dates chart for October 2020. USCIS is requiring all the other family-sponsored preference categories, to file using the Dates for Filing chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for October 2020.
Meanwhile, for all employment-based preference categories, applicants must use the Dates for Filing chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for October 2020.
Under the dates for filing chart, the cut-off dates for the employment-based categories will be as follows: EB-1: Both China and India will advance significantly to September 1, 2020. All other countries remain current. EB-2: India will advance significantly to May 15, 2011. China will advance to October 1, 2016. All other countries remain current. EB-3: All Chargeability category countries will become current. India will advance significantly to January 1, 2015 and China will advance significantly to June 1, 2018.EB-3 “OW” Other workers: China will remain the same and India will advance significantly to January 15, 2015. All other categories will be current.
Any strategy for filing in the above categories should be carefully discussed and executed with the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney; particularly in light of the re-introduction of Form I-944 and filing fee increases which become effective on cases postmarked after October 2, 2020.
As it pertains to public charge Form I-944, USCIS has announced that if it receives a Form I-485 before Oct. 13, 2020, that does not contain a properly prepared I-944 and supporting documents, it will request any missing forms and evidence. After Oct. 13, 2020, USCIS will reject the Form I-485 if it lacks the required forms and evidence with Form I-485 at the time of filing.