2020's Silver Lining for EB Applicants
For most of us, the end of 2020 can’t come fast enough. Well, at least fiscal year 2020 is almost over; on October 1, fiscal year 2021 will begin. This means that a fresh batch of immigrant visas will become available, for both family-based and employment-based permanent residency cases. One impact of the global pandemic was a decreased demand for immigrant visas in 2020. Many factors contributed to this decline, including the economic downturn, the extended closure of U.S. Consulates abroad, and President Trump’s travel bans. As a result, fewer people sought immigrant visas this year than in previous years. The “leftover” family-based visas that were not used in 2020 will be added to the employment-based visa pot for 2021, which means that a significantly higher number of employment-based visas will be available this year than under normal circumstances. This is great news for employment-based applicants from oversubscribed countries, where the waiting list to get an immigrant visa can be over 10 years long. In fact, the State Department’s newly released Visa Bulletin for October 2020 shows a leap forward of nearly 5 years for EB-3 applicants from India, when comparing October’s “dates for filing” table to the one from September. If you are the beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition (typically an I-130 for family-based cases or an I-140 for employment-based cases), be sure to check your priority date against the newest Visa Bulletin to see if you have become eligible to apply for your immigrant visa or file your adjustment of status application! Best Law Offices can help you navigate the confusing world of priority dates and immigrant visa categories. Contact us today!