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Visa Bulletin For May 2021: Continued Strong Movement Across Employment-Based Categories

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Recently, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released the May 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 determined. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has not yet indicated whether stakeholders will actually want to use the dates for the filings chart (i.e., Chart B) in May for purposes of applying for adjustment of status.

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

Impact of President Biden’s decision to rescind the immigrant visa ban

Despite President Joe Biden’s 24th February 2021 order to repeal the Trump-era proclamation that suspended certain immigrant entries, visa application backlogs combined with reduced consular operations because of COVID-19 public health measures will continue 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 previously denied under the IV ban should await further instruction from the U.S. consulate that handled their application.

May 2021 Visa Bulletin Summary

According to the State Department’s May Visa Bulletin 2021, final action cutoff dates for the issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows:

Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1) Category

The EB1 category remains current for all nations of chargeability.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) Category

The cutoff date for EB2 India advances to 1st August 2010. EB2 China moves forward to 1st December 2016. The EB2 category stays current for any remaining nations of chargeability.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Category

EB3 India moves up to 1st February 2011. EB3 China’s cutoff date advances to 15th May 2018. The EB3 category stays current for any remaining nations of chargeability.

EB3 Other Workers

Except for China, the cutoff dates for EB3 other workers are something similar for every country as its respective EB3 cutoff dates. For China, the cutoff date for EB3 different workers moves to 1st August 2009.

[US advises its citizens to avoid traveling to India due to the COVID spike]

Employment-Based, Fourth Preference (EB4) Category

The cutoff date for EB4 Mexico advances to 15th March 2019. The EB4 cutoff date for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras moves forward to 1st September 2018. This category stays current for any remaining nations of chargeability.

Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5) Category

The EB5 category remains current for all nations of chargeability, other than China and Vietnam. For China, the EB5 cutoff date stays at August 15, 2015. For Vietnam, the EB5 cutoff date advances to 15th February 2018.

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