The State Department has released their data for visa availability for adjustment of status applicants as well as abroad-based consular processing applicants for March, 2021. The visa bulletin applies to both family based, and employment based, applicants who are either seeking a visa to travel to the United States for lawful admission, or are already present in the United States and seeking a USCIS adjustment of status.
In both categories, the State Department provides a “final action date”, which refers to the first chart under each section that shows which priority dates have reached the front of the line. These green card applications are ready for approval. Hence the “final action” date.
The second category is the “Dates for Filing”, which is meant for those living outside of the U.S. and determines when such applicants should file their paperwork with the NVC, even though a green card is not ready yet. Rather, this chart shows when an immigrant visa number is available. Additionally, when the USCIS states on their website that there are more immigrant visas available for the fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, applicants may instead use the “Dates for Filing” chart.
Family Based Categories
Final action dates in the family sponsored category (F1, F2A, F2B, F3, and F4) looks largely the same as it did in February, 2021. The F2A category remains current for all countries, while every other category (F1, F2B, F3, and F4) remain oversubscribed and have decently long wait times for some country applicants, to very long wait times for applicants from Mexico.
Under the second chart, Dates for Filing, which is meant for applicants abroad applying to the NVC, applicants should use this chart as a reference to know when the agency will send them detailed instructions to submit required documents.
For March, 2021, every visa category is oversubscribed, although the dates for filing has a much shorter queue than the final action date chart above. Again, the shortest wait times for those going through consular processing are F2A candidates, regardless of the country they are applying from. Mexico again has some of the longest queues and wait times for consular processing. For example, in the F1 category for March 2021, applicants from India have a date for filing of August 8th, 2015, while the date for filing in the same category for Mexico is March 1st, 2000.
Similarly, in the F2B category for Indian applicants, the date for filing is May 22nd, 2016. Correspondingly, Mexican F2B applicants have a date for filing that is December 22nd, 1999. F3 applicants from all countries have some of the longest average wait times in the Date for Filing category because of the low quota this category is given. The average wait time for F3 applicants is about 10 years or more.
Employment Based Categories
For Final Action Dates for employment based green cards, applicants from the following countries are “Current” in the following categories:
All applicants from countries other than China (mainland), Central Am., India, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam have a current final action date for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Other Workers, 4th, Religious Workers, and Immigrant Investors categories.
China (mainland) is oversubscribed for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Other Workers, and Immigrant Investors categories, and is current for 4th (Certain Special Immigrants), and Religious Workers.
For the Central Am. countries listed, applicants have a current final action date for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Other Workers preference categories. In addition, immigrant investors also have a current final action date. 4th preference and Religious Workers from Central Am., remain oversubscribed.
For Indian applicants, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Other Workers categories are oversubscribed, reflecting the amount of visa applicants from India. 4th preference workers, Religious workers, and immigrant investor applicants from India remain current for this month.
Mexican employment based applicants have a current final action date if they are 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or Other Worker preference. 4th preference and religious workers are oversubscribed. Immigrant investor applicants have a current final action date.
For Filipino employment based applicants, as of March, 2021 every category has a current final action date.
In addition, Vietnamese employment based applicants have a current final action date in every category except for immigrant investors.
The following dates for filing information relates to applicants filing with the NVC abroad:
All employment based NVC applicants have a current date for filing in every preference category (1st, 2nd, 3rd, Other Workers, 4th, Religious Workers, Immigrant Investors) except those from the following countries: China (mainland), Central Am., India, Mexico, and the Philippines.
Employment based applicants from China (mainland) have a current date for filing if they are in the 1st (Priority Workers) category. 4th preference and Religious workers also have a current date. All other categories are oversubscribed.
Employment based applicants from Central Am. countries have a current date for filing if they are in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or Other Workers category. Immigrant investor applicants also have a current date. 4th preference and Religious workers remain oversubscribed.
Employment based applicants from India have almost all current dates for filing. The only categories that are oversubscribed are 2nd, 3rd, and Other Workers categories.
Employment based applicants from Mexico and the Philippines have current dates for filing in every employment based preference category.
Link to March, 2021 Visa Bulletin provided by the State Department: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-for-march-2021.html#ExternalPopup