The Department of State’s May 2021 Visa Bulletin showed limited movement for the EB-5 category and previewed what may be the state of priority dates for the EB-5 category for the remainder of the fiscal year.

As in recent months, the EB-5 priority dates for Chart A Final Action Dates remained current for investors born in all countries except Vietnam and China. Chart A Final Action Dates represent the date immigrant visas are available. Although the final action cutoff date for Vietnam advanced by two months to Feb. 15, 2018, the final action cutoff date for China saw no movement and remained at Aug. 15, 2015, where it has been since September 2020.

Furthermore, according to Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division of the U.S. Department of State, the Chinese EB-5 category already has over 5,000 documentarily qualified applications that are current for final action, which is more than enough to meet the visa cap for the fiscal year. As such, the final action cutoff date for the EB-5 category for China may not see any significant advancement for the remainder of the 2021 fiscal year, which could also backlog this category in the 2022 fiscal year.

USCIS announced that applicants will need to use Chart A for filing adjustment of status applications. As such, Vietnam-born investors with priority dates earlier than Feb. 15, 2018, who are in the United States in valid visa status, are now able to file adjustment of status applications, and the National Visa Center will be able to initiate the immigrant visa process for those investors with the same priority dates who reside abroad. However, as a reminder, the scheduling of immigrant visa interviews and forwarding of files to the U.S. Consular Posts are subject to delays due to the ongoing operational reductions at consulates during the COVID-19 emergency.

The Department of State (DOS) has released its March 2020 Visa Bulletin, which shows significant advancement in most employment-based (EB) categories, particularly the EB-5 category.

根据国务院(DOS)最新发布的2020年3月签证排期表(Visa Bulletin),大多数职业类别的移民排期有大幅进展,尤其是EB-5投资移民类别。

Specifically for EB-5, the priority dates per Chart A Final Action Dates will remain current for investors born in all countries except China, India, and Vietnam. The final action cutoff date for China will advance by almost six months to May 15, 2015. Likewise, the final action cutoff date for India will advance more than seven weeks to Oct. 22, 2019; and the final action cutoff date for Vietnam will advance by one month to Jan. 15, 2017.

针对EB-5类别,除中国大陆,印度和越南以外的所有其他国家/地区出生的投资人,目前仍然没有排期。对于中国大陆出生的投资人,在2020年3月,最终裁定日(表A)截止日期将前进近六个月,至2015年5月15日。

Furthermore, USCIS announced that applicants will be able to use Chart B for filing adjustment of status applications. Chart B Dates for Filing will remain current for all countries other than mainland China. The Chart B cutoff date for Mainland China will move up seven months to Dec. 15, 2015, for the month of March. As such, Mainland China-born investors with priority dates earlier than Dec. 15, 2015, who are in the United States in valid visa status will be able to file adjustment of status applications, and the National Visa Center will be able to initiate the immigrant visa process for those investors with the same priority dates who reside abroad.

此外,美国移民局2月19日宣布,申请人将可以根据递交申请日(表B)在美国递交I-485申请调整身份。对于在中国大陆以外的所有国家/地区出生的申请人,表B目前仍然没有排期。对中国大陆出生的申请人,表B的优先日截止日期将在3月份前进7个月,直到2015年12月15日。因此,满足(1)目前在美国具有合法身份 (2)优先日早于2015年12月15日这两个条件的中国大陆出生的投资者将能够在3月递交I-485身份调整申请. 与此同时,对于优先日早于2015年12月15日, 但居住在国外的投资人,国家签证中心将会开始启动投资人的移民签证程序.

As a reminder, the scheduling of immigrant visa interviews and forwarding of files to the U.S. Consular Post in Guangzhou, China, are subject to delays. This is because all regular operations were ceased at the U.S. Consular Posts in China due to health concerns associated with COVID-19.

值得注意的是,安排移民签证面试和将文件从国家签证中心转发到中国广州美国领事馆的时间可能会有所延迟。这是由于COVID-19冠性病毒的影响,所有在美国的中国领事馆目前仍停止正常运作。

In addressing the significant movement forward of the cutoff dates for Mainland China-born EB-5 investors, the State Department explained that, to date, there has not been a lot of applicants seeking to obtain conditional permanent residence. Therefore, the State Department made the decision to advance cutoff dates, particularly for EB-5 investors born in Mainland China, in order to utilize fully the amount of green cards available. The State Department warned, however, that it is possible for the cutoff dates to retrogress in the coming months.

对于3月份排期的大幅前进,国务院解释原因为,迄今为止,申请人寻求获得有条件的永久居留权的数量并不多。因此,国务院决定提前优先日截止日期,特别是对于在中国大陆出生的EB-5投资者,以充分利用可用的绿卡数量。国务院同时也警告说,排期有可能在未来几个月内倒退。

Please contact your GT attorney with any questions regarding the March 2020 Visa Bulletin or your eligibility for green card processing.

如果您对2020年3月的排期表,或者对您是否可以进行下一步的绿卡申请有任何问题,请联系您的GT律师。

In the EB-1 category, the Dates of Filing is now current for all countries of chargeability except for China and India. For November, USCIS allowed I-485 filings based on Dates of Filing rather than Final Action dates; however, EB-1 was retrogressed for all categories, allowing only certain applicants to file. USCIS has not issued the December 2019 calendar or confirmed if it will follow Dates of Filing or Final Action. If USCIS continues to abide by the dates of filing calendar, many EB-1 candidates will be able to finally file their I-485/Adjustment of Status applications. For EB-1 Final Action dates, there was slight movement. Continue Reading The Department of State (DOS) December 2019 Visa Bulletin Released

The U.S. Department of State just released the updated Visa Bulletin for June 2019. The monthly updated waiting list provides the latest information for foreign nationals who seek to become U.S. permanent residents by applying for immigrant visas at U.S. consulates and embassies abroad or filing adjustment of status applications. The Visa Bulletin for the coming month is normally updated on or about the tenth of each month with information on cutoff dates for the following month.

The priority dates per Chart A (Final Action Dates) remain current for investors born in all other countries except the following:

Mainland China-Born Investors

Mainland China-born investors’ EB-5 waiting line continued to see slow progress with the projected June 2019 Visa Bulletin, moving one week forward to Oct. 1, 2014. This means Mainland China-born investors with priority dates of Oct. 1, 2014, or earlier are eligible to be scheduled for immigrant visa interviews at consular posts or file adjustment of status applications if they are in valid status in the United States, or wait for the adjudication of their AOS applications if previously submitted.

Vietnam-Born Investors

Like China, Vietnam continued to see slow cutoff date forward movement, progressing 9 days from Sept. 22, 2016, to Oct. 1, 2016.

Indian-Born Investors

There is still no visa backlog for Indian investors in June 2019, which is good news. However, pursuant to a prediction from Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, it is likely to institute a cutoff date in the Visa Bulletin for the first time in July 2019.

The current priority date cutoff date per Chart B (Dates for filing) of the Visa Bulletin moves a little faster. For Mainland China-born investors, the priority date is Nov. 1, 2014, moved up by 17 days. The priority dates remain current for investors born in all other countries including Vietnam. Chart B enables Vietnamese investors who are in valid nonimmigrant status in the United States and wish to process the green card application without leaving United States to file AOS applications. However, Chart B is not available all the time. For the month of June, USCIS does not permit the use of Chart B for AOS applications. Normally, USCIS will designate one of the two charts each month within one week of the publication of the Visa Bulletin. We will be closely monitoring the Visa Bulletin and advise once Chart B is open.

There is also a backlog in EB-5 processing time. Currently, the average processing time for an I-526 petition ranges from 22 to 28.5 months, as shown in the below screenshot from the USCIS website. The current processing time is 1.5 months to 2 months slower compared to the time in April. USCIS will accept a case inquiry for outside normal processing time with a receipt date of Jan. 24, 2017, or earlier. For a receipt date of Jan. 25, 2017, USCIS will not respond to the email inquiry regarding the long processing time.

 

 

FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES (Chart A)

DATES FOR FILING OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISA APPLICATIONS (Chart B) 

For more visa bulletins, click here.

The Department of State (DOS) January 2019 Visa Bulletin has resulted in mixed bag of retrogression for some and advancement for others. The EB-1 category moved forward approximately 3 months across the board. EB-3 China and India are both now at Dec. 15, 2016.  The EB-2 category showed minor improvement for China to Aug. 1, 2015, but no movement at all for India, which is still set at April 1, 2009. It was a similar result in the EB-3 category, with China and India holding the same dates as last month’s Visa Bulletin. As mentioned in our November blog post, the EB-3 India final action date moved very rapidly over the past year, advancing almost a year and a half. The static nature of the past two months may reflect the continued processing of EB-3 India visa applications. In the EB-5 category the date for the non-regional center categories of China advanced to Sept. 1, 2014, and Vietnam advanced to June 1, 2016. The date for Vietnam in the EB-5 category has now advanced in this fiscal year from Jan. 1, 2016, in October 2018 to June 1, 2016, in this visa bulletin.

As has happened repeatedly in the recent past, the EB-4 religious workers and regional center EB-5 categories are listed as unavailable because the laws authorizing those categories are due to expire after midnight Dec. 20, 2018, and Dec. 21, 2018, respectively. Accordingly, no EB-4 religious workers visa may be issued, or a final action taken on an adjustment of status application, after midnight Dec. 20, 2018. Further, individuals seeking admission in this category must be admitted into the United States no later than midnight Dec. 20, 2018. If Congress, reauthorizes this category as is expected, the final action date would be current for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, which will be set at Feb. 22, 2016, and Mexico, which will be set at April 15, 2017.

Similarly, no EB-5 regional center visas may be issued, or a final action taken on an adjustment of status application, after Dec. 21, 2018. If Congress, reauthorizes this category as is expected, the final action date would be current for all countries except China and Vietnam. The China and Vietnam dates would be set at the same date as the nonregional center category, which is listed above. GT will be closely monitoring these advancements as they unfold.

Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases

The Department of State (DOS) December 2018 Visa Bulletin shows some movement in employment-based categories. The EB-1 category will advance three months in all countries, with China and India advancing to Sept. 1, 2016, and all other countries will move forward to July 21, 2016. The EB-2 category remained current for all countries except China, advancing to July 1, 2015, and India, advancing to April 1, 2009. Although most countries will remain current in the EB-3 category, China will advance by one week to June 8, 2015, India will advance by two months to March 1, 2009, and the Philippines will advance by one week to June 15, 2017. As mentioned in our previous blog post, the EB-3 India final action date moved very rapidly over the past year, advancing almost a year and a half. Current demand projections make it likely that EB-3 India could surpass EB-2 India at some point this fiscal year. As noted above, India will advance two months in the EB-3 category in December. GT will be closely monitoring these advancements as they unfold.

Referring to the Final Action Dates, following are updates from the September Visa Bulletin:

EB-1: Mainland China and India will advance, with a cutoff date of Sept. 1, 2016, while El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam all moved forward to July 1, 2017.

EB-2: For the cutoff date for worldwide chargeability, El Salvador, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam are all now current. Mainland China will move to July 1, 2015; India had slight movement to April 1, 2009.

EB-3: In the EB-3 category, for the worldwide chargeability, El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras cutoff is Feb. 22, 2016, Mexico will move to Jan. 1, 2017, and all other countries will remain current.

For those in the EB-5 category, the priority date remains current for all applicants other than those born in Mainland China and Vietnam, where the cutoff for China will advance slightly to Aug. 22, 2014, and for Vietnam it will advance significantly to May 1, 2016.

For those seeking to adjust status, The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website indicates that the department’s Dates for Filing chart must be used for filing Form I-485. This is generally not the case, as USCIS usually requires that applicants use the “Application for Final Action Dates,” which typically reflects earlier cutoff dates than that “Dates for Filing” chart.

Referring to the Final Action Dates, following are updates for the December Visa Bulletin:

Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases

Dates for Filing of Employment-Based Visa Applications

The Department of State (DOS) November 2018 Visa Bulletin shows movement in employment-based categories. The EB-1 category remained retrogressed for November 2018. Although it is likely that there will be some forward movement in December 2018 for EB-1 India, it will probably NOT return to “current” this calendar year. The EB-2 India category will likely move forward in December, but it will probably be only a week or so. The EB-3 category for India on the other hand may start seeing more significant advancement in December (weeks or possibly months). To provide context, the EB-3 India final action date moved very rapidly over the past year, advancing almost a year and a half. Current demand projections make it likely that EB-3 India could surpass EB-2 India at some point this fiscal year.  GT will be closely monitoring these advancements as they unfold.

Referring to the Final Action Dates, following are updates from the September Visa Bulletin:

EB-1: Mainland China and India had significant movement since September 2018, with a cutoff date of June 1, 2016, while El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam all moved forward to April 1, 2017.

EB-2: The cutoff date for worldwide chargeability, El Salvador, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam are all now current. Mainland China moved to May 15, 2015; India to March 26, 2009.

EB-3: In the EB-3 category, the worldwide chargeability, El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras, Mexico and Vietnam are all current. The Mainland China cutoff is June 1, 2015; India is January 1, 2009; and Philippines is June 8, 2017.

For those in the EB-5 category, the priority date remains current for all applicants other than those born in Mainland China and Vietnam, where the cutoff for China advanced to Aug. 15, 2014 and for Vietnam to Feb. 1, 2016.

For those seeking to adjust status, The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website indicates that the department’s Dates for Filing chart must be used for filing Form I-485. This is generally not the case, as USCIS usually requires that applicants use the “Application for Final Action Dates,” which typically reflects earlier cutoff dates than that “Dates for Filing” chart.

Referring to the Final Action Dates, following are updates for the June Visa Bulletin:

Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases

Dates for Filing of Employment-Based Visa Applications

In October 2015 the Department of State (DOS) visa bulletin saw significant revisions with the addition of a second chart entitled “Dates for Filing.”   The new chart was met with much excitement from foreign nationals who continue to experience significant retrogression as it provided earlier filing dates for adjustment of status applications.  These applications carry with them the opportunity to apply for numerous benefits, including advanced parole and employment verification documents.  Although the addition of a second chart was seemingly great news, it has provided little relief to date in the long green card wait times.  As discussed in last year’s blog post, the benefits anticipated from significant revisions made to the October 2015 visa bulletin were swiftly reversed by the DOS when they issued a new visa bulletin days before filings could begin.  The visa bulletin woes continued as we learned that the new Dates for Filing chart can only be used if USCIS announces they will honor the dates on a monthly basis.  Unfortunately, foreign nationals eagerly awaiting each month’s announcement have been continuously disappointed.  October of 2016 may finally bring good news.  At the AILA Spring Conference, representatives from USCIS indicated they anticipate the agency will honor the Dates for Filing chart in the new fiscal year.  Because October will mark the beginning of the 2017 fiscal year companies should consider beginning to look at employees who may be eligible to file if these dates are honored in October.

This week, the Department of State released the Visa Bulletin for September 2016. Given that visa numbers are issued based on the government fiscal year, we expect to see significant movement again in October 2016; for September 2016, the last month of FY2016, there were only minor changes with regard to movement of final action dates in most of the employment-based categories from the August 2016 Visa Bulletin.

Continue Reading.

This week the Department of State released the August Visa Bulletin, which contains some significant movement in certain employment-based categories.

  • In its July Visa Bulletin, which we wrote about here, the Department advised that it would impose cutoff dates for India and China in the EB-1 category.  In the August Bulletin, the Department has imposed a cutoff date of January 1, 2010 for both countries.  The Worldwide EB-1 category remains current.  Individuals born in India or China should consider initiating EB-1 cases now for filing on before July 31, 2016, as retrogression will be in place on August 1, 2016.
  • The July Bulletin predicted a cutoff date for Worldwide chargeability in the EB-2 category, and in the August Bulletin, that date has been set at February 1, 2014, with a predicted return to current in October, 2016.  The cutoff date for India in the EB-2 category advanced by two weeks from November 1, 2004 to November 15, 2004.  The Department explained in item F that “high demand for numbers for USCIS adjustment of status applicants has required the establishment of a date for August. This action has been required to hold number use within the Worldwide E2 annual limit.”
  • In the EB-3 category, worldwide chargeability, along with El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, advanced two weeks from March 1, 2016 to March 15, 2016.  The cutoff date for India advanced from October 22, 2004 to November 8, 2004, while the cutoff date for the Philippines advanced by three months from February 15, 2009 to May 15, 2009.
  • In the EB-4 category, the Department imposed a cutoff date for India of January 1, 2010, consistent with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announcement that India had reached the EB-4 visa limit for fiscal year 2016.  The Department notes that the EB-4 category for India will become current in October, 2016.  The Department commented as follows:

As readers were advised in the May Visa Bulletin number 92, there has been extremely high demand in the E4 and SR categories, primarily for Juvenile Court Dependent cases filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for adjustment of status. Pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, this has now required the implementation of E4 and SR Application Final Action Dates for India, which has reached its per-country limit. This action will allow the Department to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2016 annual limits.

In the EB-5 category, the cutoff date for Mainland China remained unchanged at February 15, 2014.  The EB-5 category is otherwise current.

For those seeking to adjust status, The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website indicates that the Application Final Action Dates chart must be used for filing Form I-485.

The Department’s Application Final Action Dates for the Employment-Based categories follow:

August Visa Bulletin Chart 2