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Little Movement in Visa Bulletin For January 2021

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January 2021 Visa Bulletin

This January 2021 Visa Bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during January for: “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications,” showing when immigrant visa candidates should be informed to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center.

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released the visa bulletin for January 2021. Unfortunately, there is 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 defined. There is almost no movement on the dates for the filing the chart (i.e., “Chart B”).

USCIS Employment-based Priority Date Cut-offs in January 2021 Visa Bulletin

USCIS has announced on its Visa Bulletin site page that it will respect the State Department’s Final Action Date chart for adjustment of status filings in January. To be eligible to file an employment-based adjustment application in January, employer-sponsored foreign nationals should have a need date that is sooner than the date listed below for their preference category and nation.

January is the first month in which USCIS has picked the Final Action Date chart after several months of choosing the Dates for Filing chart. USCIS will keep on honor the Dates for Filing Chart through December.

January 2021 Visa Bulletin Summary

Check below for the Final Action Dates for Employment-based Categories.

Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1) Category

The cutoff dates for EB1 China and India advance to September 1, 2019. The category stays current for any remaining nations of chargeability.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) Category

EB2 India advances by just seven days, to October 8, 2009. EB2 China moves to June 1, 2016. This category stays current for any remaining nations 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 stays current for any remaining nations of chargeability.

EB3 Other Workers

Except for China, the cutoff dates for EB3 other workers are the equivalent for every nation as its respective EB3 cutoff dates. For China, the cutoff date for EB3 different 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 stays current for any remaining nations 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 is planned to expire next week.

Recently, Congress passed an omnibus spending charge that would expand these programs. Delegates from the White House had shown that President Trump would sign the bill into law; the last night, however, Trump amazed Congress and even his White House advisors, demonstrating that he may not sign the bill. It stays not yet clear what will occur with this bill.

[Court Says Government Overstepped its Powers in Suspending Visas]

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.

Conclusion

The USCIS has announced that the final action dates (Chart A) must be utilized for all employment-based adjustment of status cases, which is a change from the December rules. For family-based adjustment of status cases, the dates for filing chart (Chart B) should be utilized, except for the family-based 2A category, where the final action date (which is once more “current” for January) might be utilized.

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