Individuals from all countries will face wait times for F2A green cards and EB-3 green cards in the next few months. Meanwhile, the wait for EB-1 green cards for individuals except those born in China and India could end as early as this summer.
Those are the latest Visa Bulletin predictions from Charles Oppenheim, chief of the Department of State’s Visa Control and Reporting Division. If you, a loved one or an employee are eligible for an F-2A or EB-3, pursue these green cards now. Reach out to the Alcorn Immigration Law team if we can help.
Every month, Oppenheim provides information about the latest Visa Bulletin and offers his projections for family and employment green-card wait times.
Family Green Cards
Still, no wait exists for processing F2A green cards for the spouses and children of individuals holding a green card. Since July 2019, F2A green cards have been processed immediately—an extremely unusual occurrence. In December, Oppenheim warned that he will place a final action date on F2A green cards for spouses of permanent residents “within the next few months.” However, Oppenheim reiterated that he will impose a final action date “in a few months.”
As Oppenheim previously cautioned, the final action date for F4 green cards for the siblings of U.S. citizens born in China and the rest of the world (excluding India, Mexico, and the Philippines) has retrogressed. The new final action date for China and the rest of the world moved back seven months to July 1, 2006, due to “a dramatic increase” in demand. Oppenheim expects this date to remain in place for the next several months.
Meanwhile, the final action dates for F4 green cards for India, Mexico, and the Philippines moved forward slightly.
EB-1 Green Cards
In the February Visa Bulletin, the final action date for EB-1 green cards for all countries except China and India advanced two months to December 1, 2018. Oppenheim says it ”remains possible” that this category could become current in the summer of 2020. The final action dates for EB-1 green cards for individuals born in China and India remained at May 22, 2017, and January 1, 2015, respectively for February.
EB-2 and EB-3 Green Cards
Currently, no wait exists for EB-2 green cards for all individuals except those born in China and India. However, Oppenheim warned that a final action date could be imposed after February. The final action dates for EB-2 green cards for individuals born in China and India advanced two weeks to July 15, 2015, and one day to May 19, 2009, respectively.
No wait currently exists for EB-3 green cards for individuals from all countries except China, India, and Philippines. However, Oppenheim warned that EB-3 green cards will become subject to a final action date this March.
Currently, individuals from China and India face shorter waits for an EB-3 than for an EB-2. And for now, no significant demand for EB-3s from individuals born in China and India has emerged, Oppenheim said.
EB-3 China advanced one month to January 1, 2016, widening the final action date spread between it and EB-2 China to 5.5 months. In contrast, the final action date spread between EB-3 India and EB-2 India has narrowed to about four months. The final action date for EB-3 India moved forward just one week to January 8, 2009.
The final action date for EB-3 Philippines moved forward 2.5 months—a faster move forward than Oppenheim expected. Oppenheim noted that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes 36 percent of EB-3 petitions from individuals born in the Philippines, while the U.S. consulate in Manila processes 64 percent.
EB-5 Green Cards
As for EB-5 green cards, Oppenheim said this category may advance more quickly than previously expected. The final action date for an EB-5 for individuals from China advanced one week to December 1, 2014. EB-5 India advanced four months to September 1, 2018. Meanwhile, EB-5 Vietnam advanced one week to December 15, 2016.
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