The Barely Moving November Visa Bulletin

Followers of the US State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin were pleased to see so much forward momentum in the October release. Yet, those who recognize the changes and what they mean predicted that so much movement would be followed by slow growth, and November’s bulletin is evidence of that expectation. With hardly any movement anywhere, the second bulletin of the new fiscal year’s lackluster release is broken down here.

Movement for India and China’s Employment-Based Applicants

Historically, India and China’s family- and employment-based Green Card petitions have the longest wait. October’s Visa Bulletin propelled these forward (in some cases, years ahead), and November moves the Final Action Dates ahead more.

Pending applicants with the following Priority Dates (PD) can begin filing their I-485 forms in November:

●     India EB-1: PD before July 1, 2019 (approved or pending)

●     India EB-2: PD before May 15, 2012

●     India EB-3: PD before August 1, 2012

●     China EB-1: PD before August 1, 2022 (approved or pending)

●     China EB-2: PD before January 1, 2020

●     China EB-3: PD before September 1, 2020

These adjustments move China into the “almost current” zone and give hope to those in India who have been waiting over a decade for their priority dates to become current.

Final Action Dates (Employment-Based)

These dates determine when your Employment Application I-485 or IV can be approved. 

●     EB-1: Mexico, Philippines, and the Rest of the World (ROW) see no change in the EB-1 category, remaining current. India’s EB-1 remains on January 1, 2017, and China’s continues to be on February 15, 2022.

●     EB-2: Final Action dates in Mexico, Philippines, and ROW move forward by one week from July 8, 2022, to July 15, 2022. India’s remains January 1, 2012, and China’s continues to be October 1, 2019.

●     EB-3: For the Rest of the World, Mexico, and the Philippines, there is no change (December 1, 2021). India’s remains May 1, 2012, and China’s continues to be January 1, 2020.

Final action dates that determine when you may file your Employment Visa Application I-485 are as follows:

●     EB-1: Mexico, Philippines, and ROW continue to be current. India’s remains July 1, 2019, and China’s remains August 1, 2022.

●     EB-2: Mexico, Philippines, and ROW stay January 1, 2023. India has no change (May 15, 2012). China has no change (January 1, 2020).

●     EB-3: ROW and Mexico see no change (February 1, 2023). Philippines continues to be on January 1, 2023. India shows no movement, continuing to be August 1, 2012. China stays September 1, 2020.

Family-Based Filing

Your family-based I-485 or IV may be approved using these dates:

●     FB-1: ROW, China, and India see no change, remaining on January 1, 2015. Mexico moved forward one week, from April 22, 2001, to May 1, 2001. Philippines remains the same (March 1, 2012).

●     FB-2A: ROW, China, India, and the Philippines remain on February 8, 2019. Mexico stays slightly behind, not moving from February 1, 2019.

Your family-based I-485 or IV can be filed using these dates:

●     FB-1: ROW, China, and India are unchanged, remaining on September 1, 2017. Mexico shows no movement (April 1, 2005). The Philippines also stayed unchanged (April 22, 2015).

●     FB-2A: All regions show no change, continuing to remain effective on September 1, 2023.

Predictions for the Near Future

With India and China’s employment-based I-485 applications showing some movement, what should these applicants expect in the future? Per USCIS and the DOS, India’s EB-2 and EB-3 pending I-485 applications are sufficient to take care of the rest of the available visas for FY 2024 and likely to cover the next few fiscal years. Those who are looking for more forward movement may be disappointed. 

Although we’ve heard a request for reform of this backlog to include moving the cutoff dates forward to file and then allowing for retrogression, as has happened in the past, INA Sec. 203 limits the government branch’s ability to do so, as the number of visas available for the foreseeable future is not sufficient to authorize an estimated issuance. 

What’s Next?

Each month, Visa2US reviews the Visa Bulletin and explains what it means to those who are awaiting their dates to become current. Our professional attorneys are here to assist you with any questions you have regarding your work visa status or advise you as to other options you have if your country’s dates are at a standstill. 

Immigration law is complex and ever-changing. Let our experts take care of the laws and regulations for you so you can concentrate on moving your career forward while you wait for your work visa or Green Card.

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