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US Department of State Releases October 2021 Visa Bulletin

September 14, 2021

In the October 2021 Visa Bulletin, there is little movement in the employment-based priority date cutoffs, and the USCIS is to begin using the “Dates for Filing” chart for employment-based adjustment of status as the 2022 fiscal year begins.

The US Department of State has released its October 2021 Visa Bulletin for the start of the new fiscal year, 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 October 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 October 2021, the USCIS will follow the Dates for Filing chart for employment-based (EB) filings for adjustment of status. This means that individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status with the USCIS in October 2021 must use the Dates for Filing chart below.

Dates for Filing Cutoff Dates

To be eligible to file an EB adjustment application in October 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 Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed

China-
mainland
born

El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras

India

Mexico

Philippines

1st

C

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

01JUL18

C

01SEP11

C

C

3rd

C

08JAN19

C

01JAN14

C

C

Other Workers

C

01FEB10

C

01JAN14

C

C

4th

C

C

15MAR19

C

01MAR20

C

Comments

As the new fiscal year begins, the USCIS is using the Dates for Filing Cutoff Date chart. This has resulted in the pool of those eligible for adjustment of status to expand slightly in October 2021. EB-2 China priority date cutoff dates will remain at July 1, 2018, and EB-2 India priority date cutoff dates will remain at September 1, 2011. EB-3 China priority date cutoff dates remain at January 8, 2019, and EB-3 India cutoff dates remain at January 1, 2014.

The Department of State has predicted that priority cutoff dates for EB-2 China and India may advance significantly in the coming months, while EB-3 cutoff dates for China and India may retrogress. Due to high demand in the EB-3 classification, the Department of State may establish a worldwide priority date cutoff.

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:

Miami
Laura C. Garvin

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

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