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July 2021 Visa Bulletin Shows Strong Forward Movement

The July 2021 Visa Bulletin sheds some light on the advancement of Final Action Dates.

NOTE: The monthly YouTube livestream “Chats with Charlie” in which Charles Oppenheim discusses the visa bulletin for the upcoming month was scheduled for June 18, 2021. As of the publication of this blog, that livestream has not yet been made available online. We will publish the July visa bulletin overview once it is available. The most recent livestream available is for the June bulletin.

In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at the July 2021 visa bulletin published on the Department of State website.

“Final Action Date” Meaning

As a reminder, the Final Action Date is listed in the visa bulletin for any visa category or country for which the demand exceeds the supply of available visa numbers. According to the Department of State:

“If not all demand could be satisfied, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed. The final action date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits.”

This means that anyone with a priority date earlier than the final action date is eligible for the issuance of a visa number.

June Bulletin v. July Bulletin

Below is a summary of any significant changes in the various visa categories in the July bulletin as compared to the June bulletin.

Family-Sponsored Preference Cases

Overall, July Final Action Dates for family-sponsored petitions advanced or stayed the same for all categories and countries. No advancement was seen for Philippines.

F1: Advanced by 14 days for all areas, including China and India. Mexico advanced by close to 5 months. Philippines stayed the same.

F2A: This category remained current for all areas.

F2B: Advanced by a bit under a month for all areas, including China and India. Mexico advanced by 5 months. Philippines stayed the same.

F3: Advanced by 2 months for all areas, including China and India. Mexico advanced by a bit under 5 months. Philippines stayed the same.

F4: Advanced by 2 months for all areas, including China. India advanced by a bit over 3 months. Mexico advanced by 3.5 months. Philippines stayed the same.

Employment-Based Preference Cases

Overall, all categories have seen movement forward. India EB3 (Professional & Skilled Workers, as well as Other Workers) is the category which saw the biggest advancement of 14 months.

This is good news for employers and employees of U.S.-based companies who have been waiting for a visa number to become available. A green card provides a sense of stability and the opportunity to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely. It is also one step closer to U.S. citizenship.

EB1: All areas have remained current.

EB2: Remained current for all areas except:

  • China – advanced by 7 months to December 1, 2017.
  • India – advanced by 6 months to June 1, 2011.

EB3 (Professionals and Skilled Workers): Remained current for all areas except:

  • China – advanced by 4 months to January 1, 2019.
  • India – advanced by a bit over 14 months to January 1, 2013.

EB3 (Other Workers): Remained current for all areas except:

  • China – advanced by 2 months to December 1, 2009.
  • India – advanced by a bit over 14 months to January 1, 2013.

EB4: Remained current for all areas except:

  • El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras – advanced by 1 month to December 1, 2018.
  • Mexico – advanced by 3 months to February 1, 2020.

EB5 (Non-Regional Center): Remained current for all areas except:

  • China – advanced by 2.5 months to November 8, 2015.
  • Vietnam – advanced by close to 2 years to April 1, 2020.

NOTE: The EB5 Regional Center program is set to expire on June 30, 2021, unless extended via legislation. The program is tied to the U.S. government’s general spending budget, which if not extended, will put the entire program on hold.

The good news is that the program has wide bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress, so it is very likely that the program will be extended since it is beneficial for the U.S. economy.

Refer to the official Department of State July 2021 Visa Bulletin for all dates.

The USCIS website provides further information about the different employment-based preference categories discussed above.

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