This month’s visa bulletin represents the latest numbers available in the month of December 2020, for “Current” visas—those numbers that are authorized for issuance to all qualified applicants in both categories of family-based and employment-based immigration. The bulletin is also a monthly update for those visa applicants that are now at the front of the line after being oversubscribed, for both employment-based and family-based immigration.
Final Action Dates for Family-Sponsored Preference Cases
The above table is the most recent update, with numbers being reported from the USCIS and via U.S. consulates. If you notice, the F2A category is current, as it was during the month of November, 2020 as well. Generally, the F2A visa is the most available visa type because the annual quota is set at 114,200 (much higher than the other family-based categories). The other annual caps for F1, F3, and F4 are much less, and tend to be used up faster, which creates a longer backlog.
China (mainland)- Those who have filed their application in the month of September, 2014, are now at the front of line for having their visa authorized for F1 category. F2B (for LPRs) applicants who filed in July, 2015 are now at the front of the line. F3 applicants who filed in June, 2008 are now at the front of the line. F4 applicants who filed in September, 2006 are now at the front of the line.
India- The same dates apply to India as they do for China for those at the front of the line, except for F4 applicants, of which those who filed in March, 2005 are now at the front of the line (slower than China rate). F2A remains current.
Mexico- is experiencing the longest backlogs. F2A remains current. F1 applicants who filed in January, 1998 are now at the front of the line. F2B applicants filing on April, 1999 are now at the front of the line. F3 is August, 1996, and F4 is June, 1998.
Philippines- Citizens are having their visas processing faster than Mexico, but slower than China and India in every category. F2A is current. F1 applicants who filed in December, 2011 are now at the front of the line. F2B is August, 2011. F3 and F4 are now February, 2002 and January, 2002, respectively.
Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases
The employment-based preference visas have less backlog and more availability. One commonality between the November 2020 visa bulletin and this months is that the exact same “Current” categories apply to both months. In other words, what wasn’t exceeded in terms of visa availability in November has not been exceeded in December (year end). This does not mean the same amount of visas are available in each category per the annual quota.
China (mainland)- 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Other Workers categories are all oversubscribed, with Visa availability starting for those who filed in April 2019, May 2016, November 2017, and February 2009, respectively.
In addition, the Employment creation visa authorization is also oversubscribed. Applicants in this category (3,000) are reserved for investors in a targeted rural area, and (3,000) are reserved for investors in regional centers (major hubs). For China, those at the front of the line are applicants who filed in August 2015.
Central American countries- 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Other Workers are “Current”, with 4th and Religious Workers categories oversubscribed, and those who filed in February 2018 at the front of the line. Regional investors and rural investors remain “Current”.
India- 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Other Workers category is oversubscribed, with first in line applicants authorized for those who filed in April 2019, October 2009, March 2010, and March 2010, respectively. The rest of the categories are “Current”.
Mexico- Everything remains “Current” for Mexican applicants, except for Certain Special Immigrants (4th), and Certain Religious Workers. Both categories of applicants who filed in November 2018 are now first in line and authorized.
Philippines- Every category remains “Current” through December.
Vietnam- Every category remains “Current” except for Regional and non-regional investors who are now first in line and authorized for those who filed in September 2017.
The Diversity Visa Annual Limit in 2021 will be set to 54,850 due to the NACARA program.