Blog by Pasricha & Patel, LLC

USCIS Sets July 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 , Law Firm , Lawyers

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 July 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 trying its best to keep visa issuance within quarterly limits and in accordance with INA.  That is how they have been 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 has been extra vigilant to keep visa numbers available and not let the visa numbers get used up prematurely.

    That is why it was a pleasant surprise to see that there were substantive movements in the employment-based visa preference categories.  However, even with positive movements, also came some retrogression news in the EB-3 World category.

  • Employment-based first preference category (EB-1) (in the Final Action Dates table):
    • There was major movement in the EB-1 cutoff dates, particularly for India.  For India, the visa availability date advanced almost a year to February 1, 2022 in the July 2024 visa bulletin.  This is certainly a big jump from July 2024 visa bulletin date of March 1, 2021.
    • China’s visa cutoff date also advanced to November 1, 2022.  It was September 1, 2022 in the June 2024 visa bulletin.
    • 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 also advanced by two months to June 15, 2012.  It is not clear if there will be any further movements in the coming months though.  Nevertheless, this certainly is a category that needs further monitoring.
    • For China’s visa preference category:   the visa availability date also advanced by one month to March 1, 2020.
    • There was also one month movement ahead in the EB-2 visa category across all other countries and regions in the July 2024 visa bulletin.  It is now at March 15, 2023.
      DOS had previously noted that this situation needs to be continuously monitored and adjustments will have to be made, so whether the dates will move further in the next few months is certainly worth continuous monitoring.
  • Employment-based third preference category (EB-3) (in the Final Action Dates table):
    • EB-3 India’s visa availability date moved one (1) month ahead to September 22, 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.
    • EB-3 world’s visa availability date retrogressed to December 1, 2021.  This was pre-warned by U.S. Department of State in the June 2024 visa bulletin, and now it has retrogressed for not only the world, but also for Mexico and Philippines too, starting with the July 2024 visa bulletin, to December 1, 2021.  U.S. Department of State also states that due to continued high demand of this visa category, it is possible that there could be further retrogression or it may even become ‘unavailable’ in August 2024.  This certainly needs to be carefully monitored in the coming months.
    • In the EB-3 Other Workers category, there was movement for Rest of the World countries – to January 1, 2021.  There was one (1) month advancement for India to September 22, 2012.  There was also movement for Mexico to January 1, 2021.  However, there was no movement for either China (remained on January 1, 2017) or Philippines (remained on May 1, 2020) in this category.
    • 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 January 1, 2021 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 remains 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 remains on November 15, 2021.  This is the same date for use for China, Philippines, and the Rest of the World.  Mexico’s F2A cutoff date even retrogressed to February 1, 2021.
    • 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 July 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 July 2024 visa bulletin, U.S. Department of State had moved dates in F2B as follows:
      • India moved ahead by one (1) month to May 1, 2016.  It was on April 1, 2016 in the June 2024 Final Action Dates table.
      • China also moved ahead to May 1, 2016.  It was on April 1, 2016 in the June 2024 Final Action Dates table.
      • The rest of the world also moved ahead to May 1, 2016.
      • Mexico continues to remain on July 8, 2004, and the Philippines remains on October 22, 2011.
  • A reminder that in the earlier 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 July 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 July 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.

Therefore, it was a pleasant surprise to see substantive movements for India in various employment-based categories this month.

It will be interesting to see if India will have any movements in the coming months though, because it is not certain if the Department of State will have enough leeway to move ahead.  But 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.