July 2021 Visa Bulletin

The State Department’s hosted an open forum with Charlie Oppenheim, in charge of the Visa Bulletin, and Neal Vermillion, in charge of Visa Office Field Operations (consulate visas), among others. There were numerous concerns raised about the travel ban, the National Interest Exception (NIE), visa movement, and USCIS processing.

In the last June Visa Bulletin, Youtube Live Chat, Charles Oppenheim mentioned, EB2 and EB3 India “Final Action Dates” would reach the “Dates for Filing” chart by September 2021, advancing EB2 by 8 months to 01AUG11 and EB3 by 26 months to 01JAN14.

US Department of State (DOS) has updated the Visa Bulletin for July 2021. As Charlie mentioned in the open forum a few days ago, dates have shifted significantly across all Employment-Based Categories.

Final Action Dates for EB:

Employment- BasedIndiaProgressionDates For Filing
2nd01JUN116 Months01DEC11
3rd01JAN1314 Months01FEB14
  • EB-2 China will advance by seven months, to December 1, 2017.
  • EB-3 China will advance by four months to January 1, 2019.
  • EB-5 China (Non-Regional Center program) will advance by seven weeks, to November 8, 2015, and EB-5 Vietnam will advance by almost two years to April 1, 2020.

In the July Visa Bulletin, even filing dates for EB2 India were advanced by four months, and EB3 India by one month. USCIS is expected to announce the cutoff dates for accepting adjustment of status applications next month in the Visa Bulletin page in the coming days.

The main source of concern is the USCIS’s ability to use the 262,000 immigrant visa numbers. It is unclear how many people have been approved by USCIS up to this point.

Charlie: Barring any legislative or other changes, expect FY22 family based limit to remain at 226,000. FY22 Employment Based limit should be at least 290,000, may be thousands higher.

Charlie: USCIS is doing an extraordinary job processing EB cases based on staffing levels. We believe if USCIS can't get to the Oct-Dec 2020 cases this year, they should have enough ready to go early in FY22 to make a big dent. Everyone working a peak capacity with limited staff.

Charlie: India EB-2 final action will be 6/1/2011. After that, won't have much need to make much further movements. If does, they'll be more limited than that big jump.

Sadly, unlike family-sponsored visas, employment-based visas are exhausted by the end of the fiscal year. The only hope is that USCIS ramps up their efforts, as they did last summer, to reduce the margin of waste. Greg Siskind, an immigration attorney, is preparing a lawsuit to prevent Green Card numbers from going unused.

Employment Based Visa’s limit is expected to be 290,000(an all time high) for fiscal year 2022, so the Oct 2021 Visa bulletin dates may move rapidly. Applicants with upcoming dates should keep their I-485 documents on hand, particularly the Birth Certificate, which is a required document.

Travel Ban: India travel ban is going to continue for a while. All 5 consular sections are operating but with reduced operations. Some variance among them in terms of what they are processing. Constantly reviewing based on conditions on the ground. Check post websites for operating status.

Dates moved from October to June for EB for India:

INDIAProgressionDates For Filing
October1st01JUN183 Months01SEP20
2nd01SEP091 Month 25 Days15MAY11
3rd15JAN103 Months 15 Days01JAN15
November1st01DEC186 Months and 3 Days01SEP20
2nd22SEP0921 Days15MAY11
3rd01MAR101 Month and 15 Days01JAN15
December1st01APR194 Months and 3 Days01NOV20
2nd01OCT099 Days15MAY11
3rd15MAR1015 Days01JAN14
January1st01SEP195 Months and 3 Days01NOV20
2nd08OCT097 Days15MAY11
3rd22MAR107 Days01JAN14
February1st01JAN204 Months and 2 Days01NOV20
2nd12OCT094 Days15MAY11
3rd01APR1010 Days01JAN14
March1st01AUG207 Months and 3 DaysCurrent
2nd15JAN103 Months and 5 Days15MAY11
3rd01JUL103 Months01JAN14
2nd01MAY103 Months and 15 Days15MAY11
3rd01SEP102 Months01JAN14
2nd01AUG103 Months15MAY11
3rd01FEB115 Months01JAN14
2nd01DEC104 Months01AUG11
3rd01NOV119 Months01JAN14
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