The U.S. Department of State has announced the per-country priority date cut-offs for the October 2020 Visa Bulletin permitting many nonimmigrant visa holders to file for adjustment of status only for the month of October 2020. While this may be extended into the following month, it also may not so it is prudent for individuals to compile the necessary documents and forms to file immediately this month. Hence thousands of nonimmigrant workers who have been waiting since 2010 – 2015 finally have the opportunity to move forward with the final stage of the green card process giving them relief from the long and arduous green card process for Indian nationals. The monthly visa bulletins indicate who may file an Adjustment of Status application based on their Priority Date, the date when an application for PERM Labor Certification was filed to the Department of Labor, or the date that an I-140 petition was filed to USCIS where a PERM filing was not required.
The dates in the Visa Bulletin determines if an individual may file a Form I-485 Adjustment of Status application / Green Card application to USCIS. In order to be eligible to file, the individual’s priority date must be earlier than the date listed in the Visa Bulletin. The sections that are current, notated by a “C,” indicate that all applications can be filed regardless of priority date. As expected given the commencement of the new government fiscal year on October 1st, there has been a forward movement in many categories due to the new allocation of immigrant visa numbers. Most significantly, the EB-3 ‘All Chargeability’ category will become current for both charts; and the EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 preference categories for individuals born in India advance by at least two years and up to nearly five years under the Dates for Filing chart.
According to the State Department’s October Visa Bulletin, cutoff dates for the issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows:
- EB-1: All countries except for China and India will remain current in October. China and India will advance by three months to June 1, 2018.
- EB-2: China will advance by six weeks to March 1, 2016, while India will advance almost two months to September 1, 2009. All other countries will remain current.
- EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers: All countries except India and China will become current in October. Cutoff dates for China will advance four and a half months to July 1, 2017, and for India will advance three and a half months to January 15, 2010.
- EB-5: For the Non-Regional Center Program, India will remain current, along with all other countries except for China and Vietnam. China’s cutoff date will remain on August 15, 2015, and Vietnam’s cutoff date will remain at August 1, 2017. The Regional Center program is set to expire on September 30, 2020, and will become unavailable unless reauthorized.
In the October Bulletin, the State Department provided projections for immigrant visa availability through January 2021. The Department predicts the following potential monthly cut-off date movements:
- EB-1: Remain current for all countries except India and China. Rapid forward movement for India and China.
- EB-2: Remain current for all countries except India and China. Rapid forward movement for India and China.
- EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers: Remain current for all countries except India and China. Rapid forward movement for India and China.
- EB-5: Remain current for all countries except China and Vietnam. No forward movement for China and a limited forward movement for Vietnam.