Welcome back to Immigration Lawyer Blog! In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick goes over the upcoming March 2022 Visa Bulletin and what you can expect in terms of movement or retrogression in the employment based and family sponsored preference categories.
The visa bulletin is issued every month by the Department of State. It shows which green card applications can move forward, based on when the immigrant petition that starts the green card process was originally filed. The visa bulletin allows you to estimate how long it will take before you will be able to get your green card, based on how quickly the “line” is moving now. You can check the visa bulletin on a monthly basis to determine your place in line.
What’s happening in the employment-based categories?
FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE
According to the Department of State’s March 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 will advance by 4 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 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 2022 Visa Bulletin. 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.
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|5th Non-Regional Center
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|5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
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 March 2022.
What can be expected moving forward from the employment-based categories?
In this month’s visa bulletin, the most important highlight is that EB-3 China Other Workers advanced by one-month to July 1, 2015, and EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras retrogressed by almost 2 years.
Additionally, DOS estimates that it may soon be necessary to establish EB-5 Non-Regional Center Final Action and Dates for Filing cutoff dates for China. DOS predicts this may occur as early as April 2022, which would make the category no longer current for China-mainland born nationals.
DOS also predicts that EB-2 India might soon retrogress in the coming weeks.
Finally, USCIS recently issued a notice encouraging eligible applicants to consider requesting to transfer the underlying basis of their adjustment of status application to the first (priority workers) or second (noncitizens in professions with advanced degrees or with exceptional ability) employment-based preference categories, because there is an exceptionally high number of employment-based immigrant visas available in these categories during this fiscal year (October 2021 through September 2022).
What’s happening in the family-sponsored categories?
FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE
According to the Department of State’s March 2022 Visa Bulletin, the following final cutoff dates will apply for the issuance of an immigrant visa for family-sponsored categories:
- F1 Other World: December 1, 2014
- F1 China: December 1, 2014
- F1 India: December 1, 2014
- F1 Mexico: September 8, 1999
- F1 Philippines: March 1, 2012
- F2A: Current for all categories
- F2B Other World: September 22, 2015
- F2B China: September 22, 2015
- F2B India: September 22, 2015
- F2B Mexico: September 1, 2000
- F2B Philippines: October 22, 2011
- F3 World: November 22, 2008
- F3 China: November 22, 2008
- F3 India: November 22, 2008
- F3 Mexico: September 15, 1997
- F3 Philippines: June 08, 2002
- F4 Other World: March 22, 2007
- F4 China: March 22, 2007
- F4 India: September 15, 2005
- F4 Mexico: April 22, 1999
- F4 Philippines: August 22, 2002
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 March 2022.
All other family-sponsored preference categories, must use the Dates for Filing Chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for March 2022.
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.
The March visa bulletin brings good news for employment-based preference categories that continue to experience forward movement. However, the family-based categories continue to move slowly because of the high level of demand at Embassies and Consulates worldwide, and very limited operational capacity that continues for most posts abroad. We expect for the Department of State to provide more resources for Embassies to meet the demand, but this will be a gradual process that is expected to take longer than a year. Those who are eligible for expedited processing should consider this option to move their cases along.
Questions? If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.
- March 2022 Visa Bulletin
- National Visa Center (NVC) February 2022 Immigrant Visa Backlog Report
- February 2022 Visa Bulletin
- Adjustment of Status Filing Dates from Visa Bulletin
- 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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