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USCIS Sets December 2021 Adjustment of Status Filing Charts For the Visa Bulletin

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Pasricha & Patel

Following the U.S. Department of State’s publication of the December 2021 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 December 2021 Visa Bulletin.

Because the F2A category remains ‘Current’ on the Final Action Dates Chart for Family-Sponsored Adjustment of Status Applications preference cases, this means that applicants in the F2A category (spouses and children of permanent residents) should continue to follow the Final Action Dates chart for December 2021, and this applies to all nationalities once again.

And continuing the precedent started in October 2021 and continued in November 2021, 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 December 2021.

As previously predicted by Charlie Oppenheim of the U.S. Department of State, the employment-based 3rd visa preference category for India and China in the month of December 2021 visa bulletin has shown no movement. This is expected to last for the foreseeable future, and it comes after months of rapid advance movement, and finally resulting in retrogression for both countries starting in November 2021. This was the direct result of heavy demand for EB-3 visa numbers in the adjustment of status applications filed with the USCIS this past year.

It should be noted that the December 2021 EB-1 visa preference category continues to remain Current for both China and India, along with all other countries.

However, for EB-2 India, the Dates for Filing of Employment-Based Vis Applications did move to July 8, 2013 in the December 2021 visa bulletin. In contrast, in the November 2021 visa bulletin, the visa filing date for EB-2 India was January 8, 2013. So, this EB-2 category continues to move steadily forward for Indian nationals. Meanwhile, EB-2 China visa filing date also moved ahead from February 1, 2019 in the November 2021 visa bulletin to April 1, 2019 in the December 2021 visa bulletin.

This is in line with the projection that Department of State had first provided in October 2021 in which it forecasted that EB-2 visa filing dates would move ahead in months, and this was proven right in the November 2021 visa bulletin published last month as well.

However, there are still indications that if demand for EB-2 visas remain stronger than usual (for example, there are situations where EB-3 to EB-3 ‘upgrade filings’), that there could be a stoppage to the forward movement of these visas, with even the possibility of EB-2 visa retrogression. So, this is a category that needs further monitoring.

More specifically about the EB-3 visa preference category, for EB-3 India, the visa filing date remained the same on January 22, 2012 in the December 2021 visa bulletin as it was in the November 2021 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 December 2021 visa bulletin. But note that the EB-3 China Other Worker visa preference category did move drastically ahead to May 1, 2015 in the December 2021 visa bulletin.

With no movement in the general EB-3 India and China visa preference categories continuing for the December 2021 visa bulletin, it is projected 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.

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.

There is some interesting development on the EB-5 direct visa category for the December 2021 visa bulletin though. EB-5 China (non-regional center) will become ‘current’ for December. This is interesting because it is the first time that all direct EB-5 applicants are ‘current’ across the world ever since the EB-5 vis category started experiencing oversubscription in 2015.

With the recent fluctuations in the visa bulletin filing dates, we do 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.