LawFlash

US Department of State Releases September 2021 Visa Bulletin

August 17, 2021

In the September 2021 Visa Bulletin, EB-2 China and India cutoff dates advance by three months, EB-3 China cutoff dates do not move, EB-3 India cutoff dates advance by six months, and EB-1 priority date cutoff dates remain current for all classifications.

The US Department of State has released its September 2021 Visa Bulletin, outlining per-country priority date cutoffs that regulate immigrant visa availability and the flow of adjustment of status application and consular immigrant visa application filings and approvals.

WHAT DOES THE SEPTEMBER 2021 VISA BULLETIN SAY?

The bulletin includes both a Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart and an Application Final Action Dates chart. The former indicates when intending immigrants may file their applications for adjustments of status or immigrant visas, and the latter indicates when adjustment of status applications or immigrant visa applications may be approved and permanent residence granted.

Each month, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) chooses which chart it will follow. For September 2021, the USCIS will follow the “Final Action” for Employment-Based Visa Applications chart for employment-based (EB) filings for adjustment of status. This means that individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status with USCIS in September 2021 must use the Final Action chart below.

FINAL ACTION CUTOFF DATES

To be eligible to file an EB adjustment application in September 2021, a foreign national must have a priority date that is earlier than the date listed below for his or her preference category and country. The “C” listing indicates that the category is current, and that applications may be filed regardless of the applicant’s priority date. The listing of a date for any category indicates that only applicants with a priority date that is earlier than the listed date may file their applications.

Employment
Based

All Charge-ability Areas Except Those Listed

China-
Mainland
Born

El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras

India

Mexico

Philippines

Vietnam

1st

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

01JUL2018 (was 01APR 18)

C

01SEP11 (was 01JUN11)

C

C

C

3rd

C

08JAN19

C

01JAN14 (was 01JUL13)

C

C

C

Other Workers

C

01FEB10 (was 01JAN10)

C

01JAN14 (was 01JUL13)

C

C

C

4th

C

C

15MAR19 (was 01JAN19)

C

15MAR20 (was 01FEB20)

C

C

COMMENTS

The priority date cutoffs for all categories, including China and India for the first employment-based categories (EB-1), remain “current” in September 2021. Worldwide priority date cutoff dates continue to be current, regardless of EB category. This means that all persons chargeable to this allocation may continue to file adjustment status applications in September 2021.

The EB-2 priority date cutoff for China advanced by three months to July 2018; the EB-2 priority date cutoff for India also advanced by three months, to September 1, 2011. The EB-3 priority date cutoff for China remains at January 8, 2019, and the EB-3 priority date cutoff for India advanced by six months to January 1, 2014.

As mentioned in previous alerts, we anticipate that the new fiscal year will bring significant advancement in all impacted classifications, notably EB-2 and EB-3 for China and India. For this reason, applicants for adjustment of status may wish to upgrade any pending immigrant visa petitions to Premium Processing, as the adjustment of status cannot be approved until the immigrant visa is also approved.

CONTACTS

If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this alert, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:

Washington, DC
Eric S. Bord
Shannon A. Donnelly
Eleanor Pelta

Miami
Laura C. Garvin

San Francisco
A. James Vázquez-Azpiri
Christina M. Gonzaga