Blog by Pasricha & Patel, LLC

USCIS Sets May 2024 Adjustment of Status Filing Charts For the Visa Bulletin

Categories: EB-1 , EB-2 , EB-3 , EB-4 , EB-5 , F1 , F2A , F2B , F3 , F4 , Immigration Law , Law Firm , Lawyers , Legal Services

Sheetal A. Patel of Pasricha & Patel, LLC, explains the adjustment of status filing charts for the Visa Bulletin

With the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”)’s publication of its May 2024 visa bulletin, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has decided that it will continue to use the Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Adjustment of Status Applications table. Meanwhile, USCIS also decided to continue to follow the Dates for Filing for Family-Sponsored Adjustment of Status Applications table. Please refer to the sections below for specific discussions about the visa availability date movements and trends under both the employment-based immigrant visa petitions, as well as the family-based immigrant visa petitions.

Employment-based Immigrant Visa Categories:

  • Starting with the March 2024 visa bulletin, USCIS has been using the Final Action Dates Table for Adjustment of Status applications. As noted in earlier visa bulletin analysis, the U.S. Department of State is maintaining its goal to keep visa issuance within quarterly limits and in accordance with INA. That is how they are trying to maintain the visa numbers for eligible users for the visa numbers in the next few months, and likely for the remaining part of the fiscal year 2024. U.S. Department of State is being extra vigilant to keep visa numbers available and not let the visa numbers get used up prematurely. This needs continuous monitoring for the rest of the fiscal year 2024.

    In fact, in last month – April 2024 Visa Bulletin, the U.S. Department of State was already projecting that in all employment-based categories “very little to no forward movement is expected in the coming months since the final action dates for many categories advanced for April 2024.”

    And that holds true for the May 2024 visa bulletin as well.

  • Employment-based first preference category (EB-1) (in the Final Action Dates table):
    • Unlike the great movement in the April 2024 visa bulletin for EB-1 applicants, there is no movement for India in the last few months, as the visa availability date stayed the same on March1, 2021.  This is still considered a this is quite a significant jump from the March 2024 visa bulletin, who was on October 1, 2020.  However, this movement is expected to stall in the upcoming  as Department of State does not plan to move this latest date much more in the coming months.  This still represents a rather significant jump ahead for Indian nationals because just a few months ago, in the December 2023 visa bulletin, it showed January 1, 2017 as the visa cutoff date.
    • China’s visa date also remains on September 1, 2022.
    • Meanwhile, for ‘World’, and Mexico, and Philippines, EB-1 is still Current/Available.
  • Employment-based second preference category (EB-2)(in the Final Action Dates table):
    • The visa availability date for EB-2 for India did not change and it is still on April 15, 2012.  As noted above, Department of State also does not expect this date to move much more in the coming few months.  Nevertheless, this certainly is a category that needs further monitoring.
    • For China’s visa preference category:   the visa availability date also remained as the past month - February 1, 2020.
    • There was no movement in the EB-2 visa category across other countries and regions in the May 2024 visa bulletin.
    • So, the EB-2 visa numbers for Rest of the World; and Mexico; and the Philippines remained on January 15, 2023. DOS had previously noted that this situation needs to be continuously monitored and adjustments will have to be made, if necessary.
    • This reflects the Department of State’s plans to release visa numbers in the 1st and 2nd quarters of year 2024 in order to monitor the visa numbers usage in employment-based immigrant visas in general.
  • Employment-based third preference category (EB-3) (in the Final Action Dates table):
    • EB-3 India’s visa availability date continues to be on August 15, 2012, which continues to be better than the EB-2 visa preference category for India.  But this gap will continue to shrink according to U.S. Department of State’s projections for the coming year.  
    • EB-3 China’s visa availability date stayed on September 1, 2020.  
    • In the EB-3 Other Workers category, there was some movement for Rest of the World countries – it moved ahead to October 8, 2020.  There was no movement for China in this category.  It stayed on January 1, 2017.  India moved ahead to August 15, 2012.  Mexico moved slightly ahead to October 8, 2020.  And there was no movement for the Philippines, as it remained on May 1, 2020.  
    • Based on past year and continuing to recent trends, it is understandable that the Department of State would have to be very mindful to keep these immigrant visa categories in check and continuously monitor the level of demand for EB-3 visas and make any necessary adjustments as needed in the coming months.
  • Employment-based fourth preference category (EB-4):
    • EB-4 category has cut off date of November 1, 2020 for all countries around the world.
    • In fact, the EB-4 religious worker visa program has been extended through September 30, 2024 via the signing of H.R. 2882 on March 23, 2024.  That also means that any and all individuals seeking admissions as a non-minister special immigrant must be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, by midnight September 29, 2024.
  • Employment-based fifth preference category (EB-5) (referring to the Final Action Date chart):
    • In the Unreserved category, EB-5 visa availability date remains on December 15, 2015 for China, and remained on December 1, 2020 for India.
    • For the other countries, and the rest of the world, the visa continues to be available for the nationals from those countries and regions.
    • On the EB-5 immigrant investor visa category, a reminder once again to readers that DOS’s visa bulletin for EB-5 preference category has also been updated to reflect the new provisions of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA). 
    • It now has two (2) pools of visa numbers within the EB-5 category.  One is reserved for certain set-aside categories (Rural, High Unemployment, and Infrastructure), while the remaining available numbers remain ‘unreserved’.
    • Finally, in the Final Action Dates chart for EB5 Set Asides (which covers Rural, and High Unemployment, and Infrastructure areas) for Chinese born and Indian born applicants as well as applicants from around the world continue to remain ‘Current’.
  • Family-based Immigrant Visa Categories (with discussions also touching on the Final Action Dates table):
    • A reminder that DOS continues to use the Dates for Filing for Family-Sponsored Adjustment of Status Applications chart. 
    • But in connection with the actual Final Action Dates table which is the actual visa availability date table to look at, and starting in June 2023, due to the steady usage of the F2A – Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents – DOS had to set a final action date for this category in order to maintain steady availability of this particular visa category for the upcoming months. 
    • So, in the Final Action Date for F2A- India, it moved ahead significantly to June 1, 2021.  This is the same date for use for China, Philippines, and the Rest of the World.  Mexico’s F2A cutoff date is on November 8, 2020.
    • In the much earlier June and July 2023 visa bulletin’s monthly notes, DOS had explained that because F2A visa numbers have maintained steady usage, therefore, there is “strong likelihood that it will be necessary to retrogress the final action date next month to keep number use within the FY-2023 annual limit.”    This trend continues in the FY 2024 visa bulletin.
    • In the May 2024 Final Acton Dates for Family-Sponsored Preference Cases, the various regions have visa availability dates of varying cutoff dates.
    • Back in the August 2023 visa bulletin, the DOS had also explained that the F2B – Unmarried Son and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Resident, is experiencing steady usage throughout the FY2023 and “it may become necessary to retrogress the final action dates for Rest of World countries, India, and China in the coming months to keep number use within the FY-2023 annual limit.” 
    • Interesting, for the latest May 2024 visa bulletin, U.S. Department of State had moved dates in F2B as follows:
      • India advanced to April 1, 2016.  It was on November 22, 2015 in the April 2024 Final Action Dates table.
      • China also moved ahead to April 1, 2016.  It was on November 22, 2015 in the April 2024 Final Action Dates table.
      • The rest of the world also moved ahead to April 1, 2016.
      • Mexico advanced to March 1, 2004, and the Philippines remains on October 22, 2011.
  • A reminder that in the last month/April 2024 visa bulletin, Department of State had provided its projected movements in the family-sponsored categories with the following predictions:
  • Worldwide dates: F1: Up to three months F2A (excluding Mexico): Up to six months F2B: Up to ten weeks F3: Several months F4: Up to four weeks
  • Mexico:

    F1: Up to four months
    F2A: Up to three months
    F2B: Several months
    F3: Up to six months
    F4: Up to three months

  • Philippines:

    F3: Several months
    F4: Several months So,
    so far, starting in the May 2024 visa bulletin, these projections are holding up.

  • Diversity Visa Lottery:
    • It should be noted that all eligible DV-2024 visa applicants must receive their immigrant visas (or adjust status, if they are present in the United States) by September 30, 2024.
    • If they do not receive their immigrant visas (or adjust their status in the U.S.) by September 30, 2024, then they would lose their chance to do so, and they will have to pursue lottery registration next year again.  
    • The DV-2025 Diversity Visa Lottery program registration period started on October 4, 2023 and concluded on November 7, 2023.  The results should become available in the next few months.

By using the Final Action Dates for Employment-based Preference Cases in the May 2024 monthly visa bulletin, U.S. Department of State is signaling that it is doing all it can to hold in check the visa numbers for the employment-based preference categories while it faces great demand for these visa preference categories on all levels. And that is also why the Department of State does not foresee too much forward movement in the employment-based categories for the next few months, if at all.

It will also be important to keep track of how USCIS decides to either use Dates of Filing or Final Action Dates table as we move forward in the coming months of Fiscal Year 2024.

For this key reason, we do encourage readers to check in this space regularly for any further updates.

Pasricha & Patel’s Immigration Department has extensive experience in handling business and personal immigration matters. Our team is happy to speak with you on your specific issue.