The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released the April 2021 Visa Bulletin. All cutoff dates listed refer to the dates in the final action chart (i.e., Chart A) except if in any case indicated.
In the coming days, USCIS is expected to publish on its own Visa Bulletin 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 Final Action dates chart, as it did last month, or on the Dates for Filing chart. The April Dates for Filing remain to a great extent unchanged from March. However, the EB-2 and EB-3 China dates have advanced modestly.
Impact of President Biden’s decision to rescind the immigrant visa ban
In spite of President Biden’s 24th February 2021 order to cancel the Trump-era announcement that suspended certain immigrant entries, visa application backlogs coupled with reduced consular operations because of COVID-19 public health measures will keep on restricting the issuance of immigrant visas by U.S. consulates abroad. Immigrant visa (IV) candidates who are no longer subject to the immigrant ban may see their cases move forward, but should expect delays as consulates continue to phase in routine services and work through backlogs. Those recently rejected under the IV ban should await further instruction from the U.S. consulate that handled their application.
April 2021 Visa Bulletin Summary
According to the State Department’s April 2021 Visa Bulletin, final action cutoff dates for the issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows:
Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1) Category
The EB1 category is current for all nations of chargeability.
Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) Category
EB2 India moves ahead to May 1, 2010. EB2 China advances to September 1, 2016. The EB2 category stays current for any remaining nations of chargeability.
Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Category
The cutoff date for EB3 India moves forward to September 1, 2010. EB3 China’s cutoff date advances to 15th March 2018. The EB3 category stays current for any remaining nations of chargeability.
EB3 Other Workers
Except for China, the cutoff dates for EB3 different workers are the same for every country as its particular EB3 cutoff dates. For China, the cutoff date for EB3 different workers moves to June 1, 2009.
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Employment-Based, Fourth Preference (EB4) Category
The cutoff date for EB4 Mexico advances to 1st Feb 2019. The EB4 cutoff date for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras moves to August 1, 2018. Also, this category stays current for any remaining nations of chargeability.
Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5) Category
The EB5 category stays current for all nations of chargeability, other than China and Vietnam. Moreover, for China, the EB5 cutoff date stays at August 15, 2015. For Vietnam, the EB5 cutoff date advances to 15th December 2017.
Dates for Filing Chart (i.e., Chart “B”)
The only change from last month ago in Chart B is that the EB2 category for China advances to January 1, 2017. However, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has not yet shown whether stakeholders will actually want to utilize Chart B in March for purposes of applying for adjustment of status.