January 2020 – Visa Bulletin – EB-3 Worldwide Remains Open for Filing
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) published the Monthly Visa Bulletin for January 2020, which shows no movement or modest forward movement across backlogged preference categories, along with technical retrogression to January 2019 under the EB-3 preference category for all countries which were not already backlogged. However, per U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) instructions, if a particular immigrant visa category is “current” on the Final Action Dates chart or the cutoff date on the Final Action Dates chart is later than the date on the Dates for Filing chart, applicants in that immigrant visa category may file using the Final Action Dates chart during that month. This means that individuals in the EB-3 worldwide classification can still file adjustment of status applications during the month of January 2020.
CIS also confirmed on its website that beneficiaries of employment-based immigrant petitions should continue to use the Dates for Filing rather than the Final Action Dates when filing during the month of January 2020. In the recent past, CIS had generally required employment-based adjustment of status applications to be filed based on the Final Action Dates, which were typically later than the Dates for Filing. Although applications may be accepted earlier by CIS, applications cannot be ultimately approved until after the Final Action Date, or priority date.
Please find an updated chart with the specific changes from December 2019 reflected on the January 2020 Visa Bulletin here.
Beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant petitions who may become eligible to file adjustment of status applications in January are encouraged to begin preparation of these applications now with their Foster immigration attorney to plan for the earliest possible filing date in the month of January.
Foster LLP will continue to monitor immigrant visa availability and provide future updates via Immigration Updates© and posts on our website at www.fosterglobal.com.