January 2021 Visa Bulletin Published – USCIS to use Final Action Dates

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The Department of State released the  January 2021 Visa Bulletin. In a departure from the last three months, USCIS has indicated that employment-based adjustment of status applicants must follow the Final Action Dates  chart.    Chinese and Indian nationals face more severe retrogression under Final Action Dates than under the Dates for Filing charts used from October through December.

EMPLOYMENT-BASED (EB) PRIORITY DATE SUMMARY  FOR JANUARY FINAL ACTION DATES

EB-1, First Preference Category

  • Worldwide (including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam) is current in January.
  • China and India: The cut-off date is September 1, 2019.

EB-2, Second Preference Category

  • Worldwide remains current in January.
  • China: The cut-off date is June 1, 2016.
  • India:  The cut-off date is October 8, 2009.

EB-3, Third Preference Category

  • Worldwide, including  EB-3 Worldwide Other Workers, remains current in January.
  • EB-3 China’s cut-off date is December 15, 2017 and the cut-off date for EB-3 China Other Workers is March 1, 2009.
  • EB-3 India and EB-3 India Other Workers’ cut-off date is March 22, 2010.

Individuals with a priority date that is either “current” or before the published cut-off date may file an adjustment of status application based on the dates outlined above.

WHAT SHOULD EMPLOYERS DO NEXT?  

Employers should work with immigration counsel to identify foreign nationals who are eligible to file adjustment of status applications in January pursuant to the Final Action Dates chart. Additionally, it will be particularly important to file adjustment of status applications in December for Chinese and Indian nationals who qualify to file under the December 2020 Visa Bulletin Dates for Filing Chart and who will lose eligibility to file under the January 2021 Final Action Dates.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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