It is that time of the month again! In this blog post, we will cover the release of the March Visa Bulletin 2022 and what you can expect for employment based and family preference categories during the month of March 2022.
The Department of State releases the visa bulletin on a monthly basis, which summarizes the availability of immigrant visa numbers for that particular month. The “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications,” charts indicate when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit the required documentation to the National Visa Center.
Adjustment of Status Filing Chart March 2022
For Family-Sponsored Filings:
Pursuant to guidance released by USCIS, in the F2A category, there is a cutoff date on the Dates for Filing chart. However, the category is “current” on the Final Action Dates chart. This means that applicants in the F2A category only may file using the Final Action Dates Chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for March 2022.
For all other family-sponsored preference categories, applicants must use the Dates for Filing Chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for March 2022.
For Employment-Based Preference Filings:
All applicants, except EB-5 Regional Center, falling under employment-based preference categories, must use the Dates for Filing chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for March 2022. This means that USCIS will accept employment-based adjustment of status applications (except EB-5 Regional Center) with a priority date that is earlier than the Dates for Filing listed in the March Visa Bulletin.
NOTE: USCIS will not accept any new employment-based fifth preference adjustment of status applications based on the Regional Center Program until that program is reauthorized by Congress.
March 2022 Visa Bulletin Final Action Cutoff Dates
FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES
According to the Department of State’s March 2022 Visa Bulletin, the following final cutoff dates will apply for the issuance of an immigrant visa for employment-based categories:
- EB-1: All countries, including India and China, will remain current.
- EB-2: India will advance by 4 months to May 1, 2013, and China will remain at March 1, 2019. All other countries will remain current.
- EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers: EB-3 India and China will remain unchanged from the previous month, at January 15, 2012, and March 22, 2018, respectively. All other countries will remain current.
- EB-5: The Non-Regional Center program will be current for all countries, including China. The Regional Center program has expired and is listed as unavailable in the March 2022 Visa Bulletin. If reauthorized, the Regional Center category will also be current for final action for all countries except China, which would be subject to a November 22, 2015 final action date.
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|5th Non-Regional Center
(C5 and T5)
|5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
Little progress has been made in the March 2022 Visa Bulletin, in comparison to last month’s Visa Bulletin. The notable takeaway is that EB-3 China Other Workers has advanced by one-month to July 1, 2015, and EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has retrogressed by nearly 2 years.
The March Visa Bulletin also provides some unfortunate news for EB-5 Non-Regional Center Chinese nationals. The Department of State projects that as early as April 2022, it may be necessary to establish EB-5 Non-Regional Center Final Action and Dates for Filing cutoffs for China. If this occurs it would mean that the category will no longer remain current for China-mainland born nationals. Furthermore, if there is sufficient demand in the EB-5 category in the coming weeks, EB-2 India may require “corrective action,” meaning a retrogression in that category may be coming soon as well.
USCIS Urges Eligible Applicants to Switch Employment-Based Categories
Today, February 18, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a notice encouraging eligible applicants to consider requesting to transfer the underlying basis of their adjustment of status application to the first (priority workers) or second (noncitizens in professions with advanced degrees or with exceptional ability) employment-based preference categories, because there is an exceptionally high number of employment-based immigrant visas available in these categories during this fiscal year (October 2021 through September 2022).
In its statement USCIS has said, “overall employment-based annual limit for fiscal year 2022 is approximately twice as high as usual, because that limit includes all unused family-sponsored visa numbers from fiscal year 2021, which was approximately 140,000.
In addition, under the relevant statute, any visas not required in the fifth employment-based preference category are made available in the first employment-based preference category, and any visas not required in the first employment-based preference category are made available in the second employment-based preference category.
These visas cannot be made available to applicants in the third employment-based preference category because, given the significant number of noncitizens awaiting visas in the second employment-based preference category, these visas are required by statute to be used for the second preference category.”
For guidance please contact the attorney managing your case filing.
DATES FOR FILING FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CATEGORIES
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|5th Non-Regional Center
(C5 and T5)
|5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
According to the Department of State’s March 2022 Visa Bulletin, the following final action cutoff dates will apply for the issuance of an immigrant visa for family-sponsored categories:
FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES
- F1 China: December 1, 2014
- F1 India: December 1, 2014
- F1 Mexico: September 8, 1999
- F1 Philippines: March 1, 2012
- F1 Other World: December 1, 2014
- F2A: Current for all categories
- F2B China: September 22, 2015
- F2B India: September 22, 2015
- F2B Mexico: September 1, 2000
- F2B Philippines: October 22, 2011
- F2B Other World: September 22, 2015
- F3 China: November 22, 2008
- F3 India: November 22, 2008
- F3 Mexico: September 15, 1997
- F3 Philippines: June 08, 2002
- F3 World: November 22, 2008
- F4 China: March 22, 2007
- F4 India: September 15, 2005
- F4 Mexico: April 22, 1999
- F4 Philippines: August 22, 2002
- F4 Other World: March 22, 2007
DATES FOR FILING FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES
- F1 China: May 15, 2016
- F1 India: May 15, 2016
- F1 Mexico: April 1, 2001
- F1 Philippines: April 22, 2015
- F1 Other World: May 15, 2016
- F2A: December 1, 2021 for all categories
- F2B China, India, World: September 22, 2016
- F2B Mexico: April 1, 2001
- F2B Philippines: October 1, 2013
- F3 China, India, World: August 22, 2009
- F3 Mexico: March 1, 2001
- F3 Philippines: October 1, 2003
- F4 China: October 1, 2007
- F4 India: January 1, 2006
- F4 Mexico: September 1, 2000
- F4 Philippines: February 1, 2004
- F4 Other World: October 1, 2007
Impact of President Biden’s Rescission of Proclamation 10014 on the Issuance of Immigrant Visas
In February of this year, President Biden made the decision to rescind Presidential Proclamation 10014 and lift the temporary suspension on the issuance of visas for most immigrant and nonimmigrant visa categories, however the operational capacity at U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide remains limited due to COVID-19 safety concerns.
The Department of State has said that while some Embassies are prioritizing immigrant visa scheduling for spouses of U.S. Citizens, public health and safety concerns remain paramount. Moreover, U.S. Embassies and Consulates are facing substantial backlogs due to the suspension of most visa operations.
Applicants who were previously subject to the immigrant visa ban under Proclamation 10014 may continue with pre-processing of their applications, however their cases will not be scheduled for an interview until Embassies and Consulates return to routine operational capacity. This will likely take time therefore applicants should expect long delays. Those who were previously refused under the Immigrant Visa ban must wait for further instruction from the U.S. Consulate handling their application.
The Expiration of the EB-5 Regional Center Program
The EB-5 Regional Center program expired on June 30, 2021 and is therefore listed as “unavailable” in the January 2022 Visa Bulletin. Absent legislative action in Congress to reauthorize the program, immigrant visa issuance and adjustment of status adjudications under this category will be halted as of the close of business on June 30, 2021. Bills to reauthorize the Regional Center program are still pending in Congress, and we do not yet know what the outcome of this legislation will be. All updates on approved legislation will be provided right here on our blog. Discussions to resuscitate the program remain ongoing before Congress.
For the latest information on the status of the EB-5 Regional Center program please click here.
As a reminder EB-5 applications that were not submitted as part of the Regional Center program remain unaffected.
Questions? If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.
- March 2022 Visa Bulletin
- February 2022 Visa Bulletin
- Adjustment of Status Filing Dates from Visa Bulletin
- Chats with Charlie YouTube Channel
- Blog Post: Rescission of P.P. 10014
- Blog Post: What is happening with the EB-5 Regional Center Program?
- Immigrant Visa Backlog Report
- DOS Visa Services Operating Status Update
- ImmigrationU Membership
- Success stories
- Youtube channel
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