According to the State Department’s March 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 four months to May 1, 2013, and China will remain at March 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 March Visa Bulletin Final Action Date chart. If reauthorized, the Regional Center category will also be current for final action for all countries except China, which would be subject to a November 22, 2015 final action date.
The Dates for Filing chart in the March Visa Bulletin remains largely the same as last month. The only changes are a one-month advancement for EB-3 China Other Workers to July 1, 2015 and an EB-4 retrogression of nearly two years for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
In March, USCIS will accept employment-based adjustment of status applications based on the Dates for Filing Chart, as it did last month. To be eligible to file, employer-sponsored foreign nationals must have a priority date that is earlier than the Dates for Filing listed in the March Visa Bulletin.
Impact of consular operations challenges
Visa application backlogs coupled with reduced consular operations due to COVID-19 public health measures 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.