The Department of State (DOS) has released the March Visa Bulletin and all categories that were current in February, remained current for March. All categories for both India and China saw forward movement at a greater pace than in previous months with EB1 jumping forward over 6 mos. As expected, the USCIS has chosen not to honor the Dates for Filing Chart but, only accept I-485 filings based upon the Final Action Date chart. This position by the USCIS continues to leave those who’s I-485’s were rejected due to filing errors with no opportunity to re-file after correcting the deficiency.
Last week, the Department of State (DOS) released the February Visa Bulletin and as expected, it remained largely unchanged. India and China EB1 saw several months of forward movement in the Final Action Date Chart but, other categories saw forward movement of only a few days. The USCIS announced that it would not honor the Dates For Filing Chart but, would only honor the Final Action Date Chart for I-485 filings. Given the difficulties they have had in issuing receipts for the I-485 filings they received in October, this is not a surprise. The DOS provided some projections over the coming months and indicated that those categories and countries that are now current are expected to remain current. They also expect EB1 for India and China to become current within the next few months. Finally, they also projected slow forward movement for all other categories and countries. Retrogression remains a major problem.
Earlier this week, the Department of State (DOS) released the January Visa Bulletin. All categories for all countries other than India and China remained current in the Final Action Date chart. India saw a jump of 5 mos. in the EB1 category but, merely a week in the EB2 and EB3 categories. China saw the same 5 mo. jump in the EB1 category but, only modest forward movement in the EB2 and EB3 categories. The USCIS announced that for purposes of filing I-485 Adjustment of Status Applications in Jan 2021, they will be honoring the Final Action Date chart and NOT the Date for Filing chart. This announcement brings to an end the expanded filing window and it is expected that the Final Action Date chart will be used for the remainder of the fiscal year, although that has not been officially announced. For some of you, this means that you only have a few days left to file or it may be next October or even longer before you have the opportunity to file a 485 again.
On Friday, the Department of State (DOS) released the December Visa bulletin and the only major change was that the India EB3 Dates for Filing Chart retrogressed by a full year to Jan 1, 2014. As a practical matter, this means that if you are India EB3, and have a priority date in 2014, you only have the remainder of this week to file your I-485. Final Action dates moved forward 4 mos. for both India and PRC EB1; others categories from those countries inched ahead; and all other countries and categories remained current. The USCIS later announced that they will accept I-485 filings in Dec. based upon the Dates for Filing chart.
The Department of State (DOS) has released the July Visa Bulletin and there was significant forward movement in multiple categories which is unusual this late in the fiscal year. The “All Other” EB3 moved forward another 6 mos. as did EB3 for the Philippines, Mexico, and Vietnam. India EB1 jumped forward 10 months. The difference between India EB2 and EB3 is only 5 weeks. The USCIS has indicated that they will use the Final Action Date chart for I-485 filings in July.
Last week, the Department of State (DOS) released the June Visa Bulletin and several categories saw significant forward movement. The EB3 all others and Philippines both jumped forward 10 mos. as did India EB1. Other categories saw little to no forward movement. The USCIS announced that it would follow the Final Action Date chart for I-485 filings in June. If you are current in June, we encourage you to file your I-485 as the summer months typically see retrogression.
The Department of State has finally released the May Visa Bulletin and it has a few pleasant surprises. Most notably, EB1 for all other countries became current; all categories for PRC moved forward; and, India EB1 and EB3 each moved forward over 1 month. The EB3 Philippines category stayed retrogressed to Jan 1, 2017 which is most unfortunate since the majority of persons in this category are registered nurses which are badly needed in the US at this time. The USCIS has declared that for purposes of filing I-485 cases in May, we must use the Final Action Date chart.
The Department of State (DOS) has released the April Visa Bulletin There was no forward movement in the Dates for Filing chart and there was very limited movement in the Final Action date chart and when I say limited movement, I mean 3 days forward for India EB2 and up to a few months for EB1 all others. The EB3 all others category remained unmoved. The USCIS has not yet announced which chart they will use for I-485 filings. We will update this post when they announce.
In remarks that can only be described as bizarre, White House Chief of Staff Mulvaney has declared that America needs more immigration. I realize the White House is a really big building and so he and Stephen Miller may not have met but, since the beginning of the Trump Administration, Miller and his cronies have imposed restrictions on legal immigration that has reduced the number of persons coming to the US on legal visas by almost 16% and the number of individuals coming on legal immigrant visas (green cards) by over 25%. The attacks and restrictive policies have been targeting high demand occupations such as registered nurses and software engineers. Maybe when Mr. Mulvaney gets back into DC, the WH can get their storylines and strategies straight. I’d like to view this as a positive development but, given the track record of this administration, it is more likely that Mulvaney will next be seen as a contributor on a news talk show.
The Department of State (DOS) has released the March Visa Bulletin and as predicted, the Final Action Date for EB3 for all countries has retrogressed back to Jan 1, 2017 (aside from India and China which are at 2009 and 2016 respectively). The Dates for Filing chart remains unchanged at Jan 1, 2019. The USCIS has declared that they will accept I-485 filings in March using the Dates for Filing chart. Retrogression occurs when there is an oversubscription (demand exceeds supply) for a particular category. The DOS went on to state that they do not expect any forward movement in the EB3 category in the foreseeable future meaning that we may get no forward movement until Oct 2020, the beginning of the new fiscal year. New legislation is the only remedy.