Today, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) published the November 2021 Visa Bulletin. This month’s visa bulletin includes some terrible, however not surprising, news regarding retrogression in the employment-based, third preference (EB3) category.
In November, USCIS will accept adjustment applications based on the Dates for Filing chart, as it did a month ago. USCIS will accept employment-based adjustment of status applications with a priority date that is earlier than the Dates for Filing listed in the November Visa Bulletin 2021.
EB-3 India and China retrogression | November 2021 Visa Bulletin
In last month’s Visa Bulletin, the State Department released projections for the following months of visa availability, expressing that retrogressed Final Action Dates could be imposed for India and China as early as November 2021. These projections were a reversal from the agency’s prior EB-3 predictions expressing that retrogressions were probably not going to be imposed prior to the summer of 2022.
In the Visa Bulletin November 2021, the State Department clarifies that the new retrogressions are because of a new heavy increase in visa demand by USCIS in connection with the adjustment of status adjudication. Towards the end of FY 2021, USCIS essentially increased its rate of adjustment adjudications. In an attempt to minimize the number of immigrant visa numbers that would go unused for the fiscal year.
In last month’s State Department Youtube event to talk about the Visa Bulletin and related projections. The agency expressed that if a retrogression was to happen, the agency’s goal would be to retrogress only once during the fiscal year. And then either hold steady or move forward during the rest of that fiscal year. The agency does not want to move dates ahead too early and then needs to retrogress them again in further months. Resulting in the potential back and forth of cutoff dates, if at all possible.
Visa Bulletin of November 2021 Summary
According to the State Department’s November 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 remains current for all countries of chargeability.
Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) Category
The cutoff date for the EB2 category for India advances to 1st December 2011. EB2 China moves up to 1st November 2018. The EB2 category remains current for any remaining nations of chargeability.
Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Category
However, there is extreme retrogression in the EB3 category for India, with the cutoff date falling back to a cutoff date of 15th January 2012. For China, the cutoff date retrogresses to 22nd March 2018. The EB3 category remains current for any remaining nations of chargeability.
EB3 Other Workers
Except for China, the cutoff dates for EB3 other workers are the same for every nation as its respective EB3 cutoff dates. Also, for China, the cutoff date for EB3 other workers moves forward to 1st March 2010.
Employment-Based, Fourth Preference (EB4) Category
The cutoff date for EB4 Mexico moves to 1st April 2020. The EB4 cutoff date for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras remains unchanged at 15th March 2019. This category remains current for any remaining nations of chargeability.
Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5) Category
For non-regional center cases, EB5 China remains at 22nd November 2015. Moreover, this category remains current for any remaining nations of chargeability.
For regional center cases, EB5 is unavailable because the program has expired. If Congress renews the regional center program, the cutoff dates for regional center cases will match those of non-regional center cases.