Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the February 2022 Visa Bulletin and what you can expect in terms of movement or retrogression in the employment based and family sponsored preference categories.
Want to know more? Just keep on watching.
What’s happening in the employment-based categories?
According to the Department of State’s February 2022 Visa Bulletin, the following final action cutoff dates will apply for the issuance of an immigrant visa for employment-based categories:
- EB-1: All countries, including India and China, will remain current.
- EB-2: India advanced by nearly 6 months to January 1, 2013, and China advanced by more than 5 weeks to March 1, 2019. All other countries will remain current.
- EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers: EB-3 India and China will remain the same as the previous months at January 15, 2012 and March 22, 2018 respectively. All other countries will remain current.
- EB-4 Certain Religious Workers: All countries, except El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, will remain current. El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras remains at March 15, 2019, and Mexico remains at April 1, 2020
- 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 February 2022 Visa Bulletin. If reauthorized, the Regional Center program will mirror the Non-Regional Center final action dates, except China, which would be subject to a November 22, 2015, final action date.
Which filing chart do I use if I want to apply for adjustment of status based on employment within the USA?
All employment-based preference categories, except EB-5 petitions based on the Regional Center Program, may apply for adjustment of status using the Dates for Filing chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for February 2022.
What’s happening in the family-sponsored categories?
According to the Department of State’s February 2022 Visa Bulletin, the following final cutoff dates will apply for the issuance of an immigrant visa for family-sponsored categories:
- China and India remains at December 1, 2014
- Mexico at September 8, 1999
- Philippines at March 1, 2012
- All Chargeability Areas Except those listed December 1, 2014
- F2-A: All other countries will remain current.
- India and China remains at September 22, 2015.
- Mexico remains at September 1, 2000
- Philippines remains at October 22, 2011
- All Chargeability Areas Except those listed September 22, 2015
- China and India remain at November 22, 2008
- Mexico remains at September 15, 1997
- Philippines remains at June 8, 2002
- All Chargeability Areas Except those listed November 22, 2008
- China remains at March 22, 2007
- India remains at September 15, 2005
- Mexico remains at April 22, 1999
- Philippines remains at August 22, 2002
- All Chargeability Areas Except those listed March 22, 2007
Why are the family-sponsored categories moving so slowly?
Due to the ongoing pandemic and unprecedented backlogs at U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide, with the exception of the F2A category which remains current, there has been no movement in the worldwide family-sponsored preference categories. Last year, in his Chats with Charlie live broadcast series, Charles Oppenheim, the Chief of the Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division of the U.S. Department of State, pointed out that he does not expect any movement whatsoever in the family sponsored worldwide dates until possibly the middle of 2022.
Consular posts and Embassies are doing their best to normalize operating capacity; however the majority of posts continue to work on a limited basis according to a four-tier prioritization schedule. Delays in visa processing continue to be expected for the foreseeable future based on the extraordinary demand for interview appointments and the lack of resources at Consular posts overseas to accommodate interviews for all applicants.
With respect to the F2A category, spouses and children of permanent residents lawfully residing in the United States can proceed with filing their adjustment of status applications with USCIS given that the F2A category remains current.
Which filing chart do I use if I want to apply for adjustment of status based on family sponsorship within the USA?
Applicants in the F2A category only may file using the Final Action Dates chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for February 2022.
All other family-sponsored preference categories, must use the Dates for Filing chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for February 2022.
We expect the employment-based preference categories to continue to experience forward movement, while limited movement is expected in the family-sponsored categories. These trends are likely to continue in both the family-sponsored and employment-based categories due to the substantial burden on both USCIS and Consular posts to handle the large influx of applications. Unless legislative action is taken, or some major policy decisions are made these trends and predictions will hold steady for the months to come. We will continue to update our readers and report back on the movement or retrogression of the different categories as we move into the new year.
In the meantime, we encourage you to review the Department of State Consular Affairs YouTube channel, where DOS provides further details regarding the movement and retrogression of the various categories.
Questions? If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.
- February 2022 Visa Bulletin Blog Post
- February 2022 Visa Bulletin
- Adjustment of Status Filing Dates from Visa Bulletin
- DOS Q&A Session with Charlie Oppenheim November 2021 Visa Bulletin Projections and Beyond
- Diversity Visa Lottery News
- DOS YouTube Channel
- Blog Post: What is happening with the EB-5 Regional Center Program?
- Immigrant Visa Backlog Report
- DOS Visa Services Operating Status Update
- ImmigrationU Membership
- Success stories
- Youtube channel
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