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September 2020 Visa Bulletin: No Movement in Most Employment-Based Categories, Slight EB-1 and EB-5 Advancement

According to the State Department’s September Visa Bulletin, cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows: 

  • EB-1: All countries except for China and India will remain current in September. China and India will advance by three weeks to March 1, 2018.
  • EB-2: China will remain at January 15, 2016, while India will remain at July 8, 2009. All other countries will remain current. 
  • EB-3 Professional and Skilled Workers: All countries except India and China will remain at April 1, 2019. Cutoff dates for China will stay at February 15, 2017, and for India at October 1, 2009. 
  • EB-5: India will remain current, along with all other countries except for China and Vietnam. China’s cutoff date will advance by one week to August 15, 2015, while Vietnam’s cutoff date will advance by more than one week to August 1, 2017. 

To be eligible to file an employment-based adjustment application in September, employer-sponsored foreign nationals must have a priority date that is earlier than the date listed below for their preference category and country. 

USCIS has again chosen the Final Action Dates chart for employment-based applications.

Immigrant Visa numerical limitations

As FY 2020 nears its close on September 30, the State Department has provided the employment-based immigrant visa numerical limitations for this fiscal year.  The agency reports that the FY 2020 Worldwide Employment-based preference limit is 156,253 immigrant visas.  Given INA guidelines regarding immigrant visa limits and usage, and the slowdown in family-based immigrant visa processing in FY 2020, there could be a much higher employment-based limit in FY 2021.

Impact of Presidential Proclamation

President Trump’s April 22 proclamation temporarily suspending the entry of certain immigrants will remain in place through December 31, 2020. The proclamation continues to limit the issuance of immigrant visas by U.S. consulates abroad.

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