By Dev Banad Viswanath, Esq.
The month of October is bringing huge changes in the Immigration field. October 1st starts the new fiscal year and allows for the US Government to recalibrate on visa availability. Whatever visas were used up in the immigrant categories ends as of September 30th, and the new year of visa numbers become available. The Department of State, tasked with the authority to review and determine visa availability every month, then does an evaluation based in discussion with the Department of Homeland and the Department of Justice to provide an assessment of the new fiscal year visa outlook. October being the spotlight for this development, which is then changed throughout the year to accommodate Immigrant Visa and Lawful Residents grants as well as applications made. The Department of State has posted the long awaited visa bulletin for October 2020 and the results are fascinating.
These are the Final Action Dates for Green Card Issuance in the Family Based Sector as in Table 1:
As you can see from the table, spouses and minor children (under 21) of green card holders (Lawful Permanent Residents) can file for and be granted lawful residence status as well in the Month of October. And that will be true for people from any country whatsoever. If you are living in the United States, a spouse and child/step child of a Green Card Holder, you can file concurrent filing of I-130 and I-485 or if you have an I-130 pending, you can file for I-485 adjustment of status right away. This is a big win and exciting movement for Lawful Residents who wish to file for their family.
In the Employment Based Categories something even more profound has happened. First off, the Visa Bulletin shows that in the Final Action Dates, for almost all Employment Based Categories for almost every country excluding India and China, will be current. That means people with EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4, or EB-5 (Non Regional Center) can immediately file for concurrent I-140/I-485 applications, or be granted green cards in the month of October. One issue is that EB-4 Religious Workers and EB-5 with a Regional Center are unavailable and cannot be granted lawful resident status in October.
Moreover, in the filing dates category, which USCIS has said they would allow individuals to take advantage of for Adjustment of Status purposes, the numbers are also interesting as show in Table 2:
|Certain Religious Workers||U||U||U||U||U||U||U|
|5th Non-Regional Center
(C5 and T5)
|5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
The above shows that for Indian Nationals, EB3 category has moved up significantly and this will also help EB-2 candidates who are interested and their company is willing to “downgrade” their petition for EB-3 so that they can take advantage of filing the I-485, Adjustment of Status. For anyone who is interested in filing or taking advantage of the above dates, they should contact an experienced Immigration Attorney at the earliest.