January 2020 Visa Bulletin: Advancements for Most Countries; Rapid Advancements in EB-1 Dates in The Coming Months

The U.S Department of State (DoS) has recently released its current visa bulletin for January 2020. In January, the EB-1 cutoff dates for petitioners from China will advance to May 22, 2017 while India stays at January 1, 2015 once again. All other countries have advancedto October 1, 2018.Furthermore, filing dates for EB-1 employment-based preference groups is current for all countries except China and India.

The State Department also projects that there will be rapid worldwide advancements in the coming months for the EB-1 category with Chinese nationals potentially advancing 3 weeks per month. However, there will be little movement for EB-1 Indian nationals. For the EB-2 category, Chinese nationals can expect advancements of one month each month, while Indian nationals will likely advance one week per month. However, there will likely be retrogressions worldwide during the second half of FY 2020 in the EB-2 category. For the EB-3 category, Chinese nationals are expected to advance up to six weeks per month, and three weeks per month for Indian nationals. Lastly, Indian nationals will likely rapidly advance for the EB-5 category while Chinese nationals will advance at a slightly faster pace than before.

Final action dates for employment-based preference petitions:

  • For EB-1: China has advanced a week to May22, 2017, while India remains unchanged at January 1, 2015. For petitioners from all other countries, the date has progressed two and a half months to October 1, 2018.
  • For EB-2: the cut-off date for nationals born in mainland China has advanced a month from June 15, 2015 to July 15,2015. The cut-off date for Indian nationals hasonly advanced a few days from May 15, 2009 to May 18, 2009. The cut-off dates for petitioners from all other countries have remained current.
  • For EB-3 – Professional and Skilled Workers: EB-3 cut off date for China has advanced a month and a halfto December 15, 2015 while the date for India sits at January 1, 2009. The cut-off date for the Philippines will advancehalf a month from March 1, 2018 to March 15, 2018. For all other countries, the cut-off date remains current.
  • For EB-5 – Non-regional Center: For China, the final action date will advance one weeks to November 22 2014, while India will advance half a year to May1, 2018. The cut-off date for Vietnam barely advanced from December 1, 2016 to December 8, 2016. The cut-off date is current for all other countries. The regional center final action dates of each country mirrors that of the non-regional centers. However, as the EB-5 Regional Center program is part of the short-term spending bill (H.R.4378) designed to fund the government until December 20, 2019, the EB-5 category for regional center filings is scheduled to expire on November 20, 2019. It is likely that an extension will be passed.

Filing dates for employment-based preference petitions:

  • For EB-1: For petitioners from mainland China, the cut-off date advances one month to October 1, 2017. However, cut off dates for Indian petitioners remains at March 15, 2017. For petitioners for the remaining countries, the cut-off date remains current.
  • For EB-2:There are no changes in the EB-2 filing dates from December 2019. The cut-off date for Chinese petitions remains at August 1, 2016, while the date for Indian nationals have stayed at July 1, 2009. Petitioners from all other countries remain current.
  • For EB-3: In the EB-3 category, the dates have remained stagnate. Mainland Chinese petitioners’ cutoff date remains at March 1, 2017, while the date for Indian petitioners have remains at February 1, 2010. The cut-off date for petitioners from the remaining countries have retrogressed to January 1, 2019.
  • For EB-5: For EB-5 petitioners, the cut-off date for nationals born in mainland China has remained at May 15, 2015 while petitioners from all other countries continue to remain current.

According to USCIS, for Employment-Based Preference Filings:

You must use the Dates for Filing chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for January 2020.

Our Thoughts:

If you believe you qualify for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) but are not sure if you’re as strong a candidate for an EB-1, we recommend starting your NIW application as soon as possible. In general, we encourage our clients to file NIW applications (provided they meet the requirements). Our attorneys have a strong track record of winning approvals: since 2008, Zhang & Associates has helped over 3,200 foreign nationals obtain NIWs.

After you successfully apply for an NIW, and thereafter continue to garner achievements in your field, you may want to consider applying in the first-preference category. Our firm is here to help: since 2012, our attorneys have assisted more than 1,500 clients obtain EB-1 visas.

Before you start the application process, it’s imperative that you consult with experienced immigration attorneys. If you’re interested in filing an NIW, EB-1, or any other employment-based visa application, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Former U.S. Consular officer, Attorney Sechyi Laiu joined Zhang & Associates, P.C. on June 26, 2017

At Zhang & Associates, P.C., Attorney Laiu specializes on Consular Processing cases and business development. Attorney Laiu also focuses on TN visas, E visas, CBP administrative proceedings (monetary confiscation, deferred inspection), and overseas financial compliance.

Prior to joining Zhang & Associates, P.C., Attorney Laiu worked for the U.S. Department of State as a Chinese and Portuguese speaking diplomat. As a consular-coned officer who served in Vancouver (Canada), Shenyang (P.R. China), and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Attorney Laiu processed over 30,000 visa cases and worked in every section of Consular Affairs overseas (Fraud Prevention Unit, Immigrant Visas, Non-Immigrant Visas, and American Citizen Services).

He will use his experience and expertise to deliver the highest quality of service to our clients.

Founded in 1996, Zhang & Associates, P.C. offers legal services to clients worldwide in all aspects of U.S immigration law. We have successfully handled over ten thousand immigration cases.

At Zhang & Associates, P.C., our attorneys and supporting professionals are committed to providing high-quality immigration and non-immigration visa services. We specialize in NIW, EB-1, EB-5, PERM, I-485 I-130, H-1B, O, L and J cases. In the past twenty-two years, we have successfully helped over ten thousand clients get green cards. If you plan to apply for a green card, please send your CV to Attorney Jerry Zhang (info@hooyou.com) for a free evaluation.

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