Little Movement in January 2021 Visa Bulletin23 Dec 2020
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released the January 2021 Visa Bulletin. Unfortunately, there is very little movement from the December 2020 Visa Bulletin. All cutoff dates listed refer to the dates in the final action chart (i.e., “Chart A”), unless otherwise specified. There is virtually no movement on the dates for filing chart (i.e., “Chart B”).
Visa Bulletin Summary
Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1) Category
The cutoff dates for EB1 China and India advance to September 1, 2019. The category remains current for all other countries of chargeability.
Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) Category
EB2 India advances by only a week, to October 8, 2009. EB2 China moves to June 1, 2016. This category remains current for all other countries of chargeability.
Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Category
The cutoff date for EB3 India also only advances one week, to March 22, 2010. For China, the cutoff date advances to December 15, 2017. This category remains current for all other countries of chargeability.
EB3 Other Workers
With the exception of China, the cutoff dates for EB3 other workers are the same for each country as its respective EB3 cutoff dates. For China, the cutoff date for EB3 other workers on moves to March 1, 2009.
Employment-Based, Fourth Preference (EB4) Category
The cutoff date for EB4 Mexico on Chart A moves to December 1, 2018. The EB4 cutoff date for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras advances to March 1, 2018 on Chart A, and July 1, 2018 on Chart B. This is the only movement in Chart B in the January 2021 Visa Bulletin. This category remains current for all other countries of chargeability.
Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5) Category
There is no movement from last month in the EB5 category.
EB4 Certain Religious Workers and EB5 Regional Center Currently Listed as “Unavailable”
The EB4 category for certain religious workers and the EB5 Regional Center category are scheduled to expire next week.
Earlier this week, Congress passed an omnibus spending bill that would extend these programs. Representatives from the White House had indicated that President Trump would sign the bill into law; last night, however, Trump surprised Congress and even his White House advisors, indicating that he may not sign the bill. It remains to be seen what will happen with this bill.
Assuming the spending bill is ultimately signed into law, the cutoff dates in January for certain religious workers will match those of the standard EB4 category; similarly, upon an extension of the program, the cutoff dates for EB5 regional center cases will match those of non-regional center cases.
The USCIS has announced that the final action dates (Chart A) must be used for all employment-based adjustment of status cases, which is a change from the December guidelines. For family-based adjustment of status cases, the dates for filing chart (Chart B) must be used, with the exception of the family-based 2A category, where the final action date (which is again “current” for January) may be used.
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