The US State Department released its December 2021 visa bulletin. There is little movement overall and a small forward movement in the EB-2 India and EB-2 China categories. The only reason this is significant is because EB-2 India has for once, moved beyond EB-3. So far, priority dates for EB-3 had been taking the lead which led to quite a few downgrades from EB-2 to EB-3.
Since USCIS has not determined whether they will be using the Dates for Filing Chart of the Final Action Dates to determine the adjustment of status applications, petitioners will have to wait until a determination has been made. Last visa bulletin, USCIS used the Dates of Filing chart for AOS.
Highlight Of December 2021 Visa Bulletin: EB-5
The priority dates for EB-5’s Non-Regional Center program has become current for every country. And that includes China. Also of significance is the fact that these dates have become current across the board for the first time since 2015.
The Regional Center program continues to remain suspended until the US Congress reauthorizes it. So far, the Senate is debating the merits of the Budget Reconciliation Bill. Once that is approved, the Regional Center program will also be considered by the US Congress. Once approved, it will have the same dates as the Non-Regional Center program
December 2021 Visa Bulletin: Final Action Cutoff Dates
The Final action cutoff dates in the December 2021 visa bulletin shows a modest movement for the employment based categories. EB-2 India moved forward by 5 months and EB-2 China just by 6 weeks. The Final action cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa are:
- EB-1: All countries will remain current.
- EB-2: India will advance to May 1, 2012, and China will to January 1, 2019. All other countries will remain current.
- EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers: EB-3 India remains at January 15, 2012 and EB-3 China remains unchanged from the previous month at March 22, 2018.
- EB-5: Current for all countries, including China. The Regional Center program is listed as unavailable in the December Visa Bulletin.
December 2021 Visa Bulletin: Dates For Filing
In the December visa bulletin’s Dates for Filing chart, EB-2 India will advance by six months to July 8, 2013, while EB-2 China will advance two months to April 1, 2019.
Remaining Dates Are Stated Below –
All countries: Current
India: July 8, 2013
China: April 1, 2019
EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers
India: January 22, 2012
China: April 1, 2018
China: December 15, 2015
Other countries: Current
International Travel Resumes But Consular Services Do Not
While international travel resumes for across the globe, the US consulates abroad are not ready. They have not been able to keep up with the surge in visas and interview appointments. A case in point are those that were current in November, but haven’t had a chance to get a visa interview appointment date. Most of them will not be interviewed until late December or January. Most other interview appointments are severely backlogged and delayed.
This, coupled with reduced consular operations due to COVID-19 public health measures will continue to limit the issuance of immigrant visas by U.S. consulates abroad. Most visa applicants should not anticipate to get an appointment any time soon. US consulates in India are backed up until June 2022. Cancellations, and delays should be expected across all US consulates.