The U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs has published the March 2020 Visa Bulletin.
FINAL ACTION DATES
The March Visa Bulletin revealed a significant advancement of final action dates for EB-5 visa applicants from China, Vietnam, and India. Specifically, the March final action dates are:
- For China: May 15, 2015, advancing 23+ weeks from the February final action date;
- For Vietnam: January 15, 2017, advancing 4+ weeks;
- For India: October 22, 2018, advancing 7+ weeks;
- All other countries: current.
As of March 1, 2020, Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian EB-5 visa applicants who filed their I-526 petitions on or before the March final action dates will be eligible to schedule interviews with the Department of State Consular offices and be issued conditional immigration visas to enter the U.S.
DATES FOR FILINGS
The March dates for filing for applicants from China is December 15, 2015 – an advancement of 30+ weeks from the last Visa Bulletin. All other countries (including India and Vietnam) will remain as “current”) in March in terms of the visa applicants’ dates for filing. That means, eligible EB-5 visa applicants from all countries, except for mainland China, who is physically in the U.S. may file an adjustment of status (AOS) application as soon as they receive an approval of their I-526 petition. For eligible EB-5 applicants from China, they may file an AOS application to USCIS as long as their priority date is earlier than December 15, 2015. Click here to read more about filing an AOS under dates for filing.
However, at the moment, USCIS has not updated its website for the information on whether the agency will continue accepting Chart B (dates for filing for employment-based visa applications) in March 2020. IIUSA will monitor the development and inform the stakeholder of latest updates.
ADVANCEMENTS OF FINAL ACTION DATES & DATES FOR FILINGS
The March final action dates and dates for filings showed the biggest advancements for Chinese applicants who have been waiting for visa availability for 5 years or more because of the visa backlog. The Visa Control Office included a note on the March Visa Bulletin regarding the rapid advancement:
There has been a very rapid advancement of the China-mainland born fifth preference final action date for the month of March. This action has been taken in an effort to generate an increased level of demand. Despite the large amount of registered China fifth preference demand, currently there are not enough applicants who are actively pursuing final action on their case to fully utilize the amount of numbers which are expected to be available under the annual limit.
Once large numbers of applicants do begin to have their cases brought to final action, some type of corrective action may be required to control number use within the annual limit. It is important to remember that applicants who are entitled to immigrant status become documentarily qualified, and potentially eligible for interview, at their own initiative and convenience. By no means has every applicant with a priority date earlier than a prevailing final action date been processed for final visa action.
IIUSA is in communication with the Visa Control Office in the State Department and seeking more insights on the visa availability and potential changes on the estimated EB-5 visa wait times. Stay tuned for more updates from IIUSA.