The first visa bulletin of the fiscal year 2021 comes bearing great news for India under the employment based visa categories. Based on various calculations, the State Department has provided projections for a huge number of immigrant visa (green cards) availability and a rapid forward movement in priority dates for applicants from India and China. Most other countries are expected to remain current.
FY 2021 Employment-Based Visas Annual Limit Announced
In the October 2020 visa bulletin, the State Department has announced the employment-based immigrant visa annual limit of 261,500 for FY 2021. This is an all-time high, projected limit – the FY 2020 employment-based preference limit was 156,253.
The immigrant visa ban in April (entry ban for green card applicants from outside the USA) combined with limited consular services due to the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a slowdown in family-based immigrant visa processing in FY 2020. This was a contributing factor to this huge employment-based limit in FY 2021. Many advancements in the employment-based categories are anticipated in the coming months.
Employment-Based Visa Category: Forward Movement
Another big news in the October 2020 visa bulletin is the significant forward movement in employment Dates for Filing and Final Action dates.
|Visa Category||Time Frame||Final Action Date|
|EB1||3 months forward||June 1, 2018|
|EB2||2 months forward||September 1, 2009|
|EB3||3.5 months forward||January 15, 2010|
Final Action Dates: India
|Visa Category||Final Action Date|
|EB1||September 1, 2000|
|EB2||May 15, 2011|
|EB3||January 1, 2015|
Filing Dates: India
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to use the Filing Action Dates only which, seems like a tactic to buy out some extra time to mitigate the huge processing delays.
Normally, if there are immigrant visas available for the filing of additional adjustment of status applications, the Dates for Filing Applications chart may be used to determine when to file an adjustment of status application with USCIS. Else, the Application Final Action Dates chart is used to determine when to file an adjustment of status application with USCIS.
No Movement in the Family-based Dates
While there was no movement in priority dates the family based categories, the October 2020 visa bulletin did introduce some pre-emptive measures to proactively suggest future movement.
- F1: Potential forward movement for up to 3 weeks
- F2A: Current
- F2B: Potential forward movement for up to 3 weeks