The Department of State (DOS) May 2020 Visa Bulletin shows major advancements for some employment-based categories. Most notably, the final action date for EB-1 “all other” countries is current for the first time since July 2018. Also jumping to current from the final action of June 1, 2019, per last month’s visa bulletin, are EB-1 El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines, and Vietnam.  The designation of “current” as a final action date means that the number of green cards authorized to be issued annually and allocated by category are not being fully utilized.

Within the United States, adjustment of status applications can be submitted to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) based on a current final action date; filing date designations are rendered obsolete in such instances.

While the filing dates for EB-1 progressed more than expected at the start of the government fiscal year in October 2019, signifying a relative reduction in demand, this current advancement is also a result of the suspension of green card and immigrant visa processing at consular posts abroad due to COVID-19. Moreover, in response to COVID-19, USCIS has suspended some in-person processes that could delay green card issuance, in addition to increasing the adjudication timeframes for the petitions that are the underlying basis for green card eligibility.  The effects of these COVID-19 measures are twofold: the same occurrences that contributed to green cards being available is also hindering the issuance of them.

Additional changes from the May 2020 visa bulletin to highlight include EB-5 India final action date advancing from January 1, 2019 to October 1, 2019 and EB-5 China final action date advancing to July 1, 2015.

Regarding other categories, there was little movement for the final action dates for EB-1 China and India, and no movement in their filing dates. EB-2 China and India final action dates each advanced one month and kept the same filing dates. EB-3 China advanced one month and EB-2 India advanced two months, with no movement in their filing dates.

May 2020 Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases: