Visa Bulletin Archives for July 2020?


Jul 1, 2020


Official stamps an immigration visa application form.

See the latest Visa Bulletin here.

If you don’t know what a “visa bulletin” or a “priority date” is, we’ve got you covered. Start by checking out the Boundless guide on How to Read the Visa Bulletin.

If you’re already familiar with those terms, skip ahead to our summary of key developments or to the filing category that’s most relevant to you:

Family-based categories

Employment-based categories

Now let’s continue…

The Bottom Line

The June 2020 Visa Bulletin brings some new movement in wait times for both the family- (“F”) and employment-based (“EB”) green card categories.

The following key developments combine analysis by Boundless and insight from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), which checks in every month with Charles “Charlie” Oppenheim, Chief of the State Department’s Visa Control and Reporting Division, for his assessment of “current trends and future projections.” The AILA insights below were excerpted from AILA Doc. No. 14071401.

Coronavirus Updates:

  • Due to COVID-19’s impact on Oppenheim’s ability to analyze government datasets, his analysis for June does not contain forward-looking projections.

In family-based categories:

  • F2B Philippines advances four months from September 1, 2010, to January 1, 2011, and F1 Philippines, F3 Philippines and F4 Philippines advance four months to June 1, 2011, August 15, 2001, and June 1, 2001 respectively. As reported in prior columns, family-based Philippines demand continues to be extremely low.
  • Oppenheim says to expect movement in family-based categories to remain consistent with what has been seen these past few months.

In employment-based categories:

  • As predicted, and slightly ahead of schedule, EB-5 India becomes current in July and will remain so through FY2020.
  • Oppenheim also notes that EB-2 China and EB-2 India will certainly exceed their per country limits this year. The open question is how close the EB-2 category will be to reaching its worldwide limits.
  • EB-1 India advances significantly, moving forward 11 months. This is made possible by the infusion of otherwise unused numbers falling up from EB-5 and the lack of significant EB-1 worldwide demand.

Wonky technical note: This post focuses on the “Final Action Dates” in the Visa Bulletin because these dates are most relevant for figuring out when applicants will ultimately receive their green cards.

Every month, however, USCIS announces whether applicants already living in the United States should file their “adjustment of status” applications based on the “Final Action Dates” or the “Dates for Filing.”

For July, all family-based visa applicants — except those in the F-2A category — must use the “Dates for Filing” (available on the State Department’s website), whereas F-2A and employment-based visa applicants must use the “Final Action Dates.” Applicants filing from outside the United States must follow the Final Action Dates.

Family-Based Green Card Backlogs

F-1: unmarried children (age 21 and older) of U.S. citizens

CountryNew
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
General Category8-Jul-1422-May-14– 1 month, 2 weeks, 2 days
China8-Jul-1422-May-14– 1 month, 2 weeks, 2 days
India8-Jul-1422-May-14– 1 month, 2 weeks, 2 days
Mexico8-Dec-9715-Nov-97-3 weeks, 1 day
Philippines1-Jun-111-Feb-11-4 months

This category sees movement for all countries:

  • All countries see progress, continuing an advancing trend from April
  • Mexico again experiences the least movement, with an advance of around 3 weeks
  • The Philippines advances the most, with a 4-month advance
  • Other countries advance by just over 1 month

F-2A: spouses and unmarried children (under age 21) of U.S. green card holders

CountryNew
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
General CategoryNo waitNo waitNo Change
ChinaNo waitNo waitNo Change
IndiaNo waitNo waitNo Change
MexicoNo waitNo waitNo Change
PhilippinesNo waitNo waitNo Change

This category has seen no change, with all countries remaining current.


F-2B: unmarried children (age 21 or older) of U.S. green card holders

CountryNew
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
General Category1-May-1515-Mar-15– 1 month, 2 weeks, 2 days
China1-May-1515-Mar-15– 1 month, 2 weeks, 2 days
India1-May-1515-Mar-15– 1 month, 2 weeks, 2 days
Mexico8-Mar-9915-Feb-99-3 weeks, 1 day
Philippines1-Jan-111-Sep-10-4 months

In July, there is movement for all countries of over one or two months:

  • Four-month advance for the Philippines, continuing on an advancing trend dating back to October 2019
  • One-month advance for all other categories, except Mexico which only sees a 3-week advance

F-3: married children of U.S. citizens

CountryNew
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
General Category8-May-0815-Apr-08-3 weeks, 1 day
China8-May-0815-Apr-08-3 weeks, 1 day
India8-May-0815-Apr-08-3 weeks, 1 day
Mexico8-Jul-9622-Jun-96-2 weeks, 2 days
Philippines15-Aug-0115-Apr-01-4 months

Compared to June, advances slow in this month but all countries do advance continuing an advancing trend that began several months ago:

  • Three-week advances for General Category, India, and China
  • Two-week advance for Mexico
  • Four-month advance for the Philippines

F-4: siblings of U.S. citizens

CountryNew
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
General Category22-Aug-068-Aug-06-2 weeks
China22-Aug-068-Aug-06-2 weeks
India8-Feb-0522-Jan-05-2 weeks, 3 days
Mexico1-Jun-988-May-98-3 weeks, 3 days
Philippines1-Jun-011-Feb-01-4 months

All countries advance but this advance has generally slowed from May:

  • The Philippines sees a 4-month progression
  • Mexico experiences a 3-week advance
  • Two-week advance for India, the General Category and China

EB-1: extraordinary people, outstanding researchers and professors, and multinational executives and managers

CountryNew
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
General CategoryNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
China22-Aug-1715-Aug-17-1 week
Central AmericaNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
India08May1708Jun16-11 months
MexicoNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
PhilippinesNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
VietnamNo WaitNo WaitNo Change

Most countries remain current (meaning there is no wait) and two continue to see movement across this category:

  • No wait for the General Category, Central America, Mexico, Vietnam and the Philippines.
  • Eleven-month advance for India
  • One-week advance for China

EB-2: exceptional people and advanced degree holders

CountryNew
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
General CategoryNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
China8-Nov-151-Nov-15-1 week
Central AmericaNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
India8-Jul-0912-Jun-09-3 weeks, 5 days
MexicoNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
PhilippinesNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
VietnamNo WaitNo WaitNo Change

No change for most of the category, except for India and China, which both sow compared to June:

  • No visa wait time for the General Category, Central America, Mexico, Vietnam and the Philippines
  • One-week advance for China
  • Three-week advance for India

EB-3: bachelor’s degree holders, skilled workers, and unskilled workers

CountryNew
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
General Category15Apr1808Nov17-5 months, 1 week
China22-Jun-1615-Jun-16-1 week
Central America15Apr1808Nov17-5 months, 1 week
India1-Jun-091-Apr-09-2 months
Mexico15Apr1808Nov17-5 months, 1 week
Philippines15Apr1808Nov17-5 months, 1 week
Vietnam15Apr1808Nov17-5 months, 1 week

Strong advances continue throughout this category, with all countries advancing, with China seeing a markedly slower advance:

  • Five-month advances General Category, Central America, Mexico, Philippines and Vietnam
  • Two-month advance for advance for India
  • One-week advance for China

In the EB-4 “special immigrants” category, many countries are current and others see moderate advances.

The big news in the EB-5 category is that India becomes current (meaning no more wait), with other countries seeing noticeable advances.

CategoryCountryNew
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
EB-4: Special ImmigrantsGeneral CategoryNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
ChinaNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
Central America01Feb1715Dec16-1 month, 2 weeks, 3 days
IndiaNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
Mexico15Jun188Jun18-1 week
PhilippinesNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
VietnamNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
CategoryCountryNew
Cut-off Date
Old
Cut-off Date
Change in Wait Time
EB-5: InvestorsGeneral CategoryNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
China22-Jul-1515-Jul-15-1 week
Central AmericaNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
IndiaNo Wait1-Jan-20-7 months
MexicoNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
PhilippinesNo WaitNo WaitNo Change
Vietnam15-May-1722-Apr-17-3 weeks, 2 days

Why This Matters

If you’re in line for a green card, it’s important to keep track of actual changes (and likely future developments) in the Visa Bulletin. It’s always a good idea to prepare all the documents needed for your green card application ahead of time, so you can be ready to file as quickly as possible once the Visa Bulletin shows that a green card is available to you. By failing to file in a month when a green card is available, you risk facing a surprise backward movement (“retrogression”) in the next Visa Bulletin, which would close your window of opportunity for filing a green card application.

Stay tuned for next month’s update! As always, we’ll highlight all the important changes for you.


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