October Visa Bulletin Released
With the start of the new Department of State fiscal year each October comes the much anticipated release of the visa bulletin. This year, the October visa bulletin was anticipated to contain some surprises and significant forward movement, given the dramatic reduction in the number of visas issued at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad. The results, however, are somewhat more tempered, as the DOS likely expects an influx of cases from abroad and needs to clear out a backlog of cases put on hold during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Forward movement has occurred in the EB-1 China and India categories, with these final action dates jumping from March 1, 2018 to June 1, 2018 for both sets of nationals. Similarly, EB-2 China final action dates move forward from January 15, 2016 in September to March 1, 2016 in October and EB-2 India final action dates enjoy movement from July 8, 2009 to September 1, 2009. This is not quite the dramatic jump forward expected in this bulletin, but forward movement in these categories is a welcome development. Such forward movement is likely to continue in the new fiscal year, given that Section F of the visa bulletin indicates that rapid forward movement is expected for Chinese and Indian nationals across virtually all Employment based categories. Rest of World nationals enjoy current final action dates in October, which is likely to continue in the coming months.
In the family sponsored categories, there is potential movement of anywhere from one to three weeks per month in the new fiscal year, depending on the family member. The F2A final action dates, which cover spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents, remain Current and are likely to remain so. As an ongoing trend, this is unusual, and spouses and children of lawful permanent residents should take advantage of these current final action dates in the new fiscal year, if their goal is to secure lawful permanent resident status themselves. Overall, the October Visa Bulletin was unremarkable in it's tangible forward movement, but the predictions and trends provided in Section F suggest continued forward movement across the family sponsored and employment based categories, a welcome development for thousands of prospective immigrants waiting to secure a stable, long term status in the United States.