The State Department has released their visa bulletin for this month, August 2021. This post will serve as a summary for some of the main changes and highlights for family based and employment based wait times and dates for filing. The U.S. State Department visa bulletin should serve as a resource for any immigrant who wants to better understand associated wait times for their immigration application based on their nationality/country of origin.
The visa bulletin can be accessed here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-for-august-2021.html
Family Based Preferences
In the family based preference categories, final action dates remain current for F2A applicants from all countries listed. The longest wait times for those seeking a final decision on their family based applications are still citizens from Mexico. India and mainland Chinese applicants are seeing an average wait time of 6 years for those in the F1 and F2B categories, and longer wait times for those seeking family based adjustments in the F3 and F4 categories.
In terms of dates for filing for those who have a priority date after the submission of their immigrant petition—the process is a little bit faster in many categories. For example, based on the August data that has been released, Chinese and Indian F1 applicants are able to submit visa documentation to the NVC if they had a priority date before May, 2016. For Filipino applicants in the same F1 category, the date for filing is April, 2015.
F2A remains the fastest date for filing across all country applicants, and is listed as June 1st, 2021.
Employment Based Preferences
The employment based tables on the monthly visa bulletin help explain to applicants, and those interested in U.S. immigration just how fast immigrant visa processing is occurring for those who wish to work in the United States.
As you can see from the first table (Final Action Dates), there is a long list of “Currents” under many categories. The Current refers to the fact that visa numbers are authorized for all qualified applicants in each category as green card applicants have reached the front of the line. As we can see from this months bulletin, employment based applicants from Mexico, the Philippines and Vietnam have the shortest wait times when it comes to final action dates. Backlogs occur this month for applicants from China and India in the 2nd and 3rd employment based categories (Advanced degrees and Skilled workers, respectively).
There is a 2 to 3 year wait period for such applicants in these categories from China (mainland), and an 8-10 year wait time period for applicants in these categories from India.
In terms of dates for filing, one interesting theme from this months bulletin is that the investor visa program remains “Current” for all nationalities in terms of dates for filing, except for Chinese applicants, who need to have a priority date that is before December 15th, 2015.
Dates for filing similarly remain almost completely open, with some backlogs for mainland Chinese and Indian applicants.