According to the State Department’s July Visa Bulletin, final action cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows:
- EB-1: All countries, including China and India, will remain current.
- EB-2: China will advance by seven months, to December 1, 2017, and India will advance by six months, to June 1, 2011. All other countries will remain current.
- EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers: Cutoff dates for China will advance four months to January 1, 2019, while India will advance fourteen months to January 1, 2013. All other countries will remain current.
- EB-5: The Non-Regional Center program will remain current for all countries except China and Vietnam. China will advance by seven weeks to November 8, 2015, while Vietnam will advance by almost two years to April 1, 2020. However, the Regional Center program is set to expire on June 30 unless reauthorized by Congress through legislation. If reauthorized, the Regional Center program will mirror the Non-Regional Center final action dates.
USCIS has announced on its own Visa Bulletin web page the cutoff dates for acceptance of adjustment of status applications next month. USCIS has again chosen the Final Action Dates chart for employment-based applications and the Filing Dates for family-based applications.
Impact of President Biden’s decision to rescind the immigrant visa ban
In spite of President Biden’s February 24, 2021 order to rescind the Trump-era proclamation that suspended certain immigrant entries, visa application backlogs coupled with reduced consular operations due to COVID-19 public health measures 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 immigrant ban may see their cases move forward, but should expect delays as consulates continue to phase in routine services and work through backlogs. Those previously refused under the IV ban should await further instruction from the U.S. consulate that handled their application.
Expiring EB-5 Regional Center program
The EB-5 Regional Center program is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2021 and is therefore listed as “unavailable” in the July Visa Bulletin. Absent legislative action in Congress to reauthorize the program, immigrant visa issuance and adjustment of status adjudications under this category will cease after the close of business on June 30. Bills to reauthorize the Regional Center program are currently pending in Congress, though the prospects for reauthorization are not yet clear.