US Department of State Releases January 2020 Visa Bulletin

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Morgan Lewis

In the January 2020 visa bulletin issued by the US Department of State, EB-2 worldwide employment-based classifications, excluding China and India, remain available and current. EB-1 cutoff dates for all countries, except India and China, saw modest movement.

The US Department of State has released its January 2020 Visa Bulletin outlining per-country priority date cutoffs that regulate immigrant visa availability and the flow of status adjustments and consular immigrant visa application filings and approvals.

WHAT DOES THE JANUARY 2020 VISA BULLETIN SAY?

The bulletin includes both a Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart and an Application Final Action Dates chart. The former indicates when intending immigrants may file their applications for adjustments of status or immigrant visas, and the latter indicates when adjustment of status applications or immigrant visa applications may be approved and permanent residence granted.

Each month, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) chooses which chart it will follow. In January, USCIS will again use the Dates for Filing Chart for employment-based filings for adjustment of status. This means that individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status with USCIS in January 2020 must use the “Dates for Filing” chart below.

FINAL ACTION DATES

To be eligible to receive approval of a pending employment-based (EB) adjustment application in January 2020, a foreign national must have a priority date that is earlier than the date listed below for his or her preference category and country.

The “C” listing indicates that the category is current, and that applications may be filed regardless of the applicant’s priority date. The listing of a date for any category indicates that only applicants with a priority date that is earlier than the listed date may file their application.

Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases

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EB

All Charge-
ability
Areas Except
Those Listed

China
(mainland
born)

El Salvador,
Guatemala,
and Honduras

India

Mexico

Philippines

Vietnam

1st

01OCT18 (was 15JUL18)

22MAY17 (was 15MAY17)

01OCT18 (was 15JUL18)

01JAN15 (no change)

01OCT18 (was 15JUL18)

01OCT18 (was 15JUL18)

01OCT18 (was 15JUL18)

2nd

C (no change)

01JUL15 (was 22JUN15)

C (no change)

18MAY09 (was 15MAY09)

C (no change)

C (no change)

C (no change)

3rd

C (no change)

01DEC15 (was 01NOV15)

C (no change)

01JAN09 (no change)

C (no change)

15MAR18 (was 01MAR18)

C (no change)

Other Workers

C (no change)

01APR08 (was 01MAR08)

C (no change)

01JAN09 (no change)

C (no change)

01MAR18 (no change)

C (no change)

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On the Final Action Dates chart, the India EB-1 cutoff date remains at January 1, 2015. The EB-1 cutoff date for China advanced one week to May 22, 2017. Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed all saw modest movement in the EB-1 category, with each country advancing approximately two-and-a-half months.

EB-2 China advanced nine days to July 1, 2015. EB-2 India moved forward just three days to May 18, 2009. EB-2 dates for all other countries remain current.

The EB-3 cutoff date for Philippines advanced by two weeks. EB-3 China advanced one month to December 1, 2015. EB-3 dates for all other countries remain current under the Final Action Dates chart.

DATES FOR FILING

To be eligible to file an EB adjustment application in January 2020, a foreign national must have a priority date that is earlier than the date listed below for his or her preference category and country.

The “C” listing indicates that the category is current, and that applications may be filed regardless of the applicant’s priority date. The listing of a date for any category indicates that only applicants with a priority date that is earlier than the listed date may file their application.

*Note that since Vietnam is not listed on the Department of State’s Dates for Filing chart, adjustment applicants from Vietnam should use the worldwide dates found in the “All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed” column.

Dates for Filing of Employment-Based Visa Applications

--> Scroll to see full table data

EB

All Charge-
ability
Areas Except
Those Listed

China
(Mainland
Born)

El Salvador,
Guatemala,
and Honduras

India

Mexico

Philippines

Vietnam

1st

C (no change)

01OCT17 (was 01SEP17)

C (no change)

15MAR17 (no change)

C (no change)

C (no change)

C (no change)

2nd

C (no change)

01AUG16 (no change)

C (no change)

01JUL09 (no change)

C (no change)

C (no change)

C (no change)

3rd

01JAN19 (was C)

01MAR17 (no change)

01JAN19 (was C)

01FEB10 (no change)

01JAN19 (was C)

01JAN19 (was C)

01JAN19 (was C)

Other Workers

01JAN19 (was C)

01AUG08 (no change)

01JAN19 (was C)

01FEB10 (no change)

01JAN19 (was C)

01JAN19 (was C)

01JAN19 (was C)

--> Scroll to see full table data

On the Dates for Filing chart, the India EB-1 cutoff date remains at March 15, 2017. EB-1 China advanced one month, to October 1, 2017. EB-1 dates for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, and All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed remain current.

EB-2 China remains at August 1, 2016. EB-2 India remains at July 1, 2009. EB-2 categories for All Chargeability Areas, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam all remain current for January 2020.

EB-3 cutoff dates for China remains at March 1, 2017, and the EB-3 cutoff for India remains at February 1, 2010. EB-3 categories for All Chargeability Areas, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam have retrogressed nearly one year, to January 1, 2019.

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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