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Immigration Law

October 2020 Visa Bulletin

October 2020 Visa Bulletin

NOTES:

"E.  MOVEMENT OF THE OCTOBER FINAL ACTION AND APPLICATION FILING DATES

Family-sponsored:  Final Action Dates movement during the past six months focused on two goals: 1) to allow number use to be maximized should it become possible to return to normal visa processing levels at some point prior to the end of the fiscal year, and 2) to encourage applicants to continue acting on their cases in a timely manner to support long-term recovery from the suspension of routine services.  This movement ensured sufficient demand would be available for adjudication throughout FY 2021 under a resumption of full operational status. 

VO learned during October 2020 date determination, that movement of final action dates in the previous six months combined with the global suspension of routine visa services resulted in enough accumulated demand to fully utilize the numbers normally made available during the first quarter of the fiscal year.  Therefore, no date movement is required at this time.  VO will closely monitor the situation in the early months of the fiscal year.

Employment-based:  All of the Final Action and Application Filing Dates have been advanced at a very rapid pace, in anticipation of the FY 2021 annual limit being approximately 261,500, an all-time high.  The movement of these dates has been taken in consultation with USCIS Office of Policy and Strategy to accommodate processing plans for USCIS Offices during the coming fiscal year and to maximize number use within the FY 2021 annual limits.  Pending demand, in the form of applications for adjustment of status, and documentarily qualified immigrant visa applicants, is well below the estimated annual limit of 261,500.  Adjustment of status applications filed early in FY 2021 are most likely to be adjudicated during the upcoming fiscal year.  

F.  VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS

FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)

Worldwide dates:

F1:  Up to three weeks
F2A: Current
F2B: Up to three weeks
F3:  Up to two weeks
F4:  Up to one week

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)

Employment First:

WORLDWIDE:   Current
China:               Rapid forward movement
India:                Rapid forward movement  

Employment Second:

Worldwide:  Current
China:          Rapid forward movement
India:           Rapid forward movement       

Employment Third:

Worldwide:   Current
China:           Rapid forward movement       
India:            Rapid forward movement
Mexico:        Current
Philippines:  Likely to remain at the Worldwide date

Employment Third – Other Workers:   

Worldwide:    Current
China:            Steady forward movement        

Employment Fourth:  Current for most countries

El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras:  Steady forward movement
Mexico:  Steady forward movement        

Employment Fifth:  The category will remain “Current” for most countries

China:       No forward movement 
Vietnam:   Limited forward movement


The above final action date projections for the Family and Employment categories indicate what is likely to happen on a monthly basis through January.   The determination of the actual monthly final action dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables. 

G.  SCHEDULED EXPIRATION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES

Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR):

Pursuant to Section 102 of Division I, Title I of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Public Law 116-94), the non-minister special immigrant program expires on September 30, 2020.  No SR visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after midnight September 29, 2020.  Visas issued prior to this date will only be issued with a validity date of September 29, 2020, and all individuals seeking admission as a non-minister special immigrant must be admitted (repeat, admitted) into the U.S. no later than midnight September 29, 2020.

The final action date for this category has been listed as “Unavailable” for October. 

If there is legislative action extending this category for FY-2021, the final action date would immediately become “Current” for October for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras which would be subject to an August 1, 2017 final action date and Mexico which would be subject to a September 1, 2018 final action date.  

Employment Fifth Preference Categories (I5 and R5):

Section 104 of Division I, Title I of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Public Law 116-94) extended this immigrant investor pilot program until September 30, 2020.  The I5 and R5 visas may be issued until close of business on September 30, 2020, and may be issued for the full validity period.  No I5 or R5 visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after September 30, 2020.

The final action dates for the I5 and R5 categories have been listed as “Unavailable” for October. 

If there is legislative action extending them for FY-2021, the final action dates would immediately become “Current” for October for all countries except China-mainland born I5 and R5 which would be subject to an August 15, 2015 final action date and Vietnam I5 and R5 which would be subject to an August 1, 2017 final action date."