As the Covid-19 pandemic eases in some parts of the world including the U.S., in other countries like India, Brazil and Turkey it is still raging and taking lives. As a result, U.S. Consulates abroad are yet to function at its full capacity leading to delays and massive backlogs in visa appointments.
However, the visa bulletin released by the U.S. Department of State for June 2021 has some good news for employment based green card applicants. Priority dates for most employment based categories have moved forward by three, five or a good nine months.
For those who had previously filed their Adjustment of Status applications with Form I-485 and waiting for the final action dates to move forward, this is fantastic news.
Please noteAll applicants waiting to file their I-485s, if your priority date is before the cut-off date as noted below, please begin preparing to file for adjustment of status. One approved, it would make you eligible to apply for an EAD, employment authorization document and advance parole (AP). Due to the travel ban against travelers from India, having an AP document is especially beneficial since obtaining a visa appointment at a consulate today in India is close to impossible.
Final Action Cutoff Priority Dates According To The June 2021 Visa Bulletin
- EB-1: All countries including China and India are current.
- EB-2: China advances by five months to May 1, 2017 and India by four months to December 1, 2010. ROW are already current.
- EB-3: China advances three and a half months to September 15, 2018, while India moves forward by nine months to November 1, 2011. ROW are already current.
- EB-5: China moves forward by one month to September 15, 2015 while India remains current.
Dates for Filing Cutoff Priority Dates According To The June 2021 Visa Bulletin
- EB-1: All countries including China and India are current
- EB-2: China advances by six months to January 1, 2018, while India advances modestly by two and a half months to August 1, 2011. ROW are already current.
- EB-3: China advances by four months to January 1, 2019 and India is at January 1, 2014
- EB-4: El Salvador, Guatemala & Honduras are at January 1, 2019. ROW are current.
- EB-5: China stands at December 15, 2015 and others are current.
USCIS is yet to announce whether it will accept adjustment applications based on the Final Action dates chart, as it did last month, or on the Dates for Filing Chart.
Predictions For July 2021 Visa Bulletin
The 2021 fiscal year ends on September 30, 2021. As of today, there are about 262,000 immigrant visas that still need to be used. Coupled with the spillover from family based green cards from last year, both EB-2 and EB-3 categories are expected to continue moving forward by at least 3 months each.
We should anticipate a whole lot of EB-2 applicants to downgrade to EB-3 in the coming months, and if that happens, we should see another forward push among priority dates as USCIS begins approving these.
After September 2021, there will an additional 275,000 immigrant visas available and this will encourage further movement for both India and China in the employment-based category.
The next big thing will be for EB-2 to become current. Stay tuned as we keep you posted on these priority dates for your US green card.