According to the State Department’s December Visa Bulletin, final action cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows:
- EB-1: All countries, including India and China, will remain current.
- EB-2: India will advance by five months to May 1, 2012, and China will advance by six weeks to January 1, 2019. All other countries will remain current.
- EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers: EB-3 India and EB-3 China will remain unchanged from the previous month, at January 15, 2012 and March 22, 2018, respectively. All other countries will remain current.
- EB-5: The Non-Regional Center program will be current for all countries, including China. The Regional Center program has expired and is listed as unavailable in the December Visa Bulletin. If reauthorized, the Regional Center program will mirror the Non-Regional Center final action dates.
Impact of consular operations challenges
Visa application backlogs coupled with reduced consular operations due to COVID-19 public health measures and increased travel during the holiday season will continue to limit the issuance of immigrant visas by U.S. consulates abroad. Immigrant visa (IV) applicants who are no longer subject to the Trump-era immigrant ban may see their cases move forward, but should continue to expect delays as most consulates are still at reduced capacity as they try to work through backlogs. Those previously refused under the IV ban should await further instruction from the U.S. consulate that handled their application.
In December, USCIS will accept employment-based adjustment of status applications from foreign nationals with a priority date that is earlier than the Filing Dates listed in the State Department’s December 2021 Visa Bulletin.