April 2020 Visa Bulletin: How Has Coronavirus Impacted Priority Dates
Although the State Department released the April 2020 visa bulletin among the rampant fears of the Coronavirus pandemic, it has had minimal effect on the priority date movements. Just as we had predicted for April 2020’s visa bulletin, employment based categories had but little movement this month. While there wasn’t any additional retrogression, most forward movement was seen between one week to three months, just like in March 2020’s visa bulletin release.
As the Coronavirus spread peaked in the last couple of weeks, the negative impact of this will be felt in the coming visa bulletins. Several USCIS offices and Application Service Centers have shut down as a precaution against Coronavirus. The US government has approved telecommuting for most of its employees. This has left processing centers with minimal personnel that will be processing only emergent applications. It is yet to be seen how the US government will address the already backlogged green card applications.
Having said that, April 2020’s visa bulletin has seen a good amount of forward movement in the family-based categories, a silver-lining against the Coronavirus black cloud.
According to the announcement made in April 2020 visa bulletin, cutoff dates in the Dates for Filing chart for April will remain unchanged from March 2020.