USCIS Sets February 2022 Adjustment of Status Filing Charts For the Visa Bulletin
Pasricha & Patel
Following the U.S. Department of State’s publication of the February 2022 Visa Bulletin, the USCIS has once again confirmed that it will continue to follow the Dates for Filing for Family-Sponsored Adjustment of Status Applications for the February 2022 Visa Bulletin as family-based immigrant visa usage continues to pick up the pace due to U.S. consulates steadily re-opening abroad.
Because the F2A category remains ‘Current’ on the Final Action Dates Chart for Family-Sponsored Adjustment of Status Applications preference cases, this means that once again, applicants in the F2A category (spouses and children of permanent residents) should continue to follow the Final Action Dates chart for February 2022 visa bulletin and this applies to all nationalities as well.
And continuing the precedent started in October 2021 and through the 4th quarter
2021 visa bulletins and then the January 2022 visa bulletin for employment-based visa applicants, the USCIS will still follow the Dates for Filing for Employment-based Adjustment of Status Applications chart for the month of February 2022.
As previously predicted by the U.S. Department of State in late 2021, the employment-based 3rd visa preference category for India and China for the month of February 2022 visa bulletin remains stagnant and shows no forward movement at all. But do note that there was a big advancement in the EB-2 India visa preference category under the Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases. In the February 2022 visa bulletin, EB-2 India is now showing visa availability before January 1, 2013. Previously, in the January 2022 visa bulletin, the same table for EB-2 India showed visa availability date of July 8, 2012.
As explained by Mr. Charlie Oppenheim, who was the former Chief of the Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division of the U.S. Department of State, before he retired in December 2021, and in his earlier monthly visa bulletin chats, these visa non-movements is expected to last for the foreseeable future, and it is the result of months of rapid advance movement in the EB-3 visa preference category for two (2) countries of China and India. Finally, the heavy demand for EB-3 visa numbers in 2021 greatly outstripped the monthly quota numbers, and it has resulted in retrogression for both countries starting in November 2021 and to the present and beyond.
It should be noted that the February 2022 EB-1 visa preference category continues to remain Current for both China and India, along with all other countries.
Meanwhile, EB-2 China’s Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases for February 2022 also moved slightly to March 1, 2019 from its January 2022 date of January 22, 2019.
These visa number movements continue to be consistent with the projections that the Department of State had first provided in October 2021 in which it forecasted that EB-2 visa filing dates would progressively move ahead in months, while the EB-3 visa filing dates would remain stagnant for the upcoming fiscal year.
However, there continues to be signals in place where if the demand for EB-2 visas remain stronger than normal, that there could be a stoppage to the forward movement of the EB-2 visas, with great likelihood that the EB-2 visa would retrogress. It goes without saying that this particular visa category warrants continuous monitoring in the coming months.
About the EB-3 visa preference category, for EB-3 India, the visa filing date under the Dates for Filing for Employment-Based Adjustment of Status Applications remains the same date of January 22, 2012 in the February 2022 visa bulletin as it was in the January 2022 visa bulletin.
As for EB-3 China, the visa filing date also remained stagnant, as the filing date remained on April 1, 2018 in the February 2022 visa bulletin. However, there was some slight movement forward for the EB-3 China Other Worker visa preference category as it moved from May 1, 2015 to June 1, 2015 in the February 2022 visa bulletin under the Dates for Filing for Employment-Based Adjustment of Status Applications table.
With no significant movement in the general EB-3 India and China visa preference categories for the February 2022 visa bulletin, previous projections from the Department of State that the visa filing dates for this particular category may remain stagnant for the foreseeable future and at least for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2023 holds true.
The reasoning for the stagnant movement continues to be the fact that applicants in those particular visa categories who may have filed for EB-2 to EB-3 visa preference category downgrade with the USCIS, but they most likely would have retained their initial EB-2 I-140 approvals. They would do well to keep an eye out for the EB-2 visa preference category and its movements in the coming months due to predictions of slowdown and possible retrogression as mentioned above.
Finally, on the EB-5 direct visa category for the February 2022 visa bulletin section, EB-5 China (non-regional center) remains ‘Current’ in the Dates for Filing for Employment-Based Adjustment of Status Applications. This holds true for all regions as well. However, in the Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases table, the entire EB-5 Regional Center (IR5 and R5) continues to be ‘Unavailable’ because there is lack of legislative action to extend the immigrant investor pilot program behind this particular visa category after it had expired on June 30, 2021. We recommend readers continue to monitor this site for any possible developments on the legislative front that could re-start this category in the coming months.
As the visa bulletin filing dates continue to slow in these last few months, we encourage readers to continue to check back with our site for any updates regarding this and any other latest immigration news and developments.
Should you wish to discuss your case matter further, we encourage you to contact our office and schedule an appointment so we can assist you further.