The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released the February 2021 Visa Bulletin. The visa bulletin also includes various predictions for the coming months. All cutoff dates listed refer to the dates in the final action chart (i.e., Chart A) unless otherwise specified.
This February Visa Bulletin 2021 summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during February for: “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications,” showing when immigrant visa candidates should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center.
Employment-based Priority Date Cut-offs in February 2021 Visa Bulletin
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced on its Visa Bulletin website page that it will honor the State Department’s Final Action Date chart for adjustment of status filings in February. To be eligible to file an employment-based adjustment application in February, employer-sponsored foreign nationals should have a priority date that is sooner than the date listed below for their preference category and country.
February is the second month where USCIS has picked the Final Action Date chart after several months of choosing the Dates for Filing chart.
Impact of Presidential Proclamation
Before leaving office, previous President Trump expanded the April 22 proclamation temporarily suspending the entry of certain immigrants to March 31, 2021. It stays unclear as to whether President Biden will rescind the proclamation. Until further notification, the bar will keep on restricting the issuance of immigrant visas by U.S. consulates abroad.
February 2021 Visa Bulletin Summary
In the February Visa Bulletin 2021, the State Department gives projections for immigrant visa availability through May 2021. Actual movement can depart from projections, yet the Department currently predicts the following potential monthly cut-off date movement:
Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1) Category
The EB1 China and India categories continue to advance. The cutoff dates for both are currently set at January 1, 2020. The category stays current for all other nations of chargeability.
EB1 China and India are expected to continue to quickly advance in the coming months.
Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) Category
EB2 India only advances by a few days, to October 12, 2009. EB2 China moves to June 15, 2016. The EB2 category stays current for all nations of chargeability except India and China.
EB2 India is expected to advance by up to two weeks per month in the coming months. EB3 China could move up by as much as three weeks per month.
Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Category
The cutoff date for EB3 India advances to April 1, 2010. EB3 China’s cutoff date set at January 1, 2018. The EB3 category stays current for all other countries of chargeability.
EB3 India could advance by up to three weeks per month in the near future. The cutoff date for EB3 China could move up by as much as one month per month.
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 other workers moves to April 1, 2009.
Employment-Based, Fourth Preference (EB4) Category
The cutoff date for EB4 Mexico moves to December 15, 2018. The EB4 cutoff date for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras moves to April 15, 2018. This category stays current for all other nations of chargeability.
EB4 Mexico may advance up to one month per month, while the EB4 cutoff date for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras could advance by up to three months per month.
Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5) Category
The EB5 category stays current for all nations of chargeability, other than China and Vietnam. For China, the EB5 cutoff date stays at August 15, 2015, and isn’t expected to advance in the near future. For Vietnam, the EB5 cutoff date moves to October 1, 2017, and may push ahead by three weeks per month.