Just when the US immigration scene appeared at its bleakest so far, USCIS released July’s visa bulletin and gave some respite to the green card aspirants from India. While all employment based categories benefitted in some forward movement or the other, it was EB-1 India that saw a momentous push forward in all cut off dates.
Where Does India Stand In The July 2020 Visa Bulletin
|Advanced 11 months
|May 8, 2017
|Advanced 3+ weeks
|July 8, 2009
|Advanced 2 months
|June 1, 2009
July 2020 Visa Bulletin: Summary For China & ROW
|August 22, 2017
|November 8, 2015
|June 22, 2016
|Retrogressed To April 15, 2018
|July 22, 2015
Please noteThese dates are based on Final Action Cut-Off Dates. We don’t know if USCIS will continue accepting Final Action dates for adjustment of status applications or move to Dates of Filing moving forward.
In Other US Immigration News
President Trump had signed an Executive Order that barred green card applicants outside of the US from entering the country for 60 days. This deadline is nearing and is on June 22, 2020. While there is no word about an extension, immigrants outside the country are not hopeful.
The first executive order banned immigrant visa issuance by US consulates abroad but excluded work visa holders like H1-B, H4 EAD and L1. However, now the US government is expected to announce another immigration ban and include these non-immigrant visa holders from entering the country.
Impact of Immigration Ban On Green Card Priority Dates
Once the Coronavirus spread was declared a pandemic, and demand for permanent residencies reduced drastically. This could be attributed to mass deaths, declining global economies, sharp rise in unemployment, and borders closing across the world.
Covid’s Impact on US Immigration
Here’s what happened in the first few weeks
The last straw was the immigration ban by the US government.
With the demand for US green cards weakening, EB-2 ROW remains current in the July visa bulletin and EB-3 ROW has jumped from January 2017 to April 2018. The March 2020 visa bulletin was only foreseeing retrogressions in the future.
While the executive order came as a disappointing blow to applicants abroad, it sure did have a positive impact on the priority dates for those within the US in the months of May and June. April’s visa bulletin showed a negative impact on priority dates
Most immigration lawyers warn all non-immigrant visa holders who might be outside the US to return immediately before a new immigration ban is announced. This time the expectation is that the ban may last until the end of the year.