Most Employment-Based Visa Categories Advance in February 2021 Visa Bulletin

Practice Areas

By Gladys Gervacio

The United States Department of State has released its February 2021 Visa Bulletin. Cutoff dates advance moderately in most employment-based categories. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will honor the Final Action Dates chart for employment-based adjustment of status applications.

In the February 2021 Visa Bulletin, final action cutoff dates will advance for many employment-based visa categories, including:

  • EB-1: India and China both advance by four months to January 1, 2020. All other countries remain current.
  • EB-2: India advances four days to October 12, 2009. China advances two weeks to June 15, 2016. All other countries remain current.
  • EB-3 (Professionals and Skilled Workers): India advances more than one week to April 1, 2010, while China advances two weeks to January 1, 2018. All other countries remain current.
  • EB-3 (Other Workers): China advances one month to April 1, 2009, while India advances a little more than one week to April 1, 2010. All other countries remain current.
  • EB-4: El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras advance by six weeks to April 15, 2018. Mexico advances two weeks to December 15, 2018. All other countries remain current.
  • EB-5: Both the Regional and Non-Regional Center programs will be current for all countries, except China and Vietnam. While Vietnam advances two weeks to October 1, 2017, China will remain unmoved at August 15, 2015.

Filing an Adjustment of Status Application

USCIS will honor the Final Action Dates chart for February 2021 for the second month in a row. Foreign nationals are eligible to file an employment-based adjustment of status application to become a US permanent resident if their priority date is earlier than the cutoff date listed on the chart for their preference category and country of birth.

Presidential Proclamation’s Impact

President Trump extended the April 22, 2020 presidential proclamation through March 31, 2021. The Biden administration could rescind this policy, but it is currently unclear whether they will do so. US consulates abroad will continue to limit the issuance of immigrant visas to foreign nationals who were outside of the US on the proclamation’s effective date and who did not already hold a valid US visa or travel document. Certain exemptions are available.

Projections for Employment-Based Green Card Availability Through May 2021

The US State Department provides a projection of the advancements in employment-based categories and nationalities through May 2021 in the February 2021 Visa Bulletin. While actual cutoff dates may differ, the following changes are predicted:

  • EB-1: India and China could advance by up to six months, while other countries remain current.
  • EB-2: India could advance two weeks, while China could advance by three weeks. All other countries remain current.
  • EB-3: India could advance three weeks, while China could advance up to one month. All other countries remain current.
  • EB-5: No movement is expected for China, while Vietnam could advance up to three weeks. Other countries remain current.

Conclusion

For help filing for employment-based adjustment of status, or any other green card related questions, please contact your trusted Chugh, LLP attorney.

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