July Visa Bulletin Now Available: Indian Applicants No Longer Subject to Visa Backlog

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, has published the July 2020 Visa Bulletin (view PDF). The July Bulletin revealed advanced EB-5 final action dates for China (July 22, 2015) a 7-day advancement from the June Bulletin, and Vietnam (May 15, 2017) a 23-day advancement.

Particularly, as first announced by Mr. Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of Visa Control and Reporting Division at U.S. Department of State, on a recent IIUSA webinar that the EB-5 final action date for India have now become “current” on the July Bulletin and is expected to remain as “current” until the end of the current fiscal year (September 2020). Click here to learn about the top 10 takeaways of the webinar from the panel’s moderator, Carolyn Lee (Carolyn Lee PLLC).

FINAL ACTION DATES (CHART A)

Despite the fact that all U.S. Embassies and Consulates are still suspending all routine immigrant visa appointments due to COVID-19, the final action dates for EB-5 visa applicants from countries that are experiencing a visa backlog continue to advance. Specifically, on the July 2020 Visa Bulletin, the EB-5 cut-off dates for backlogged countries are:

  • China: July 22, 2015 (advanced 7 days from the June Bulletin);
  • Vietnam: May 15, 2017 (advanced 23 days from the June Bulletin).

 

Final Action Dates on the July 2020 Visa Bulletin

The most significant update on the July Bulletin is that EB-5 applicants from Indian will no longer face a visa retrogression in July as the EB-5 final action date now becomes “current” (see above). The EB-5 cut-off dates for India has been moving rapidly in the current fiscal year, from 11/22/2017 on the October Bulletin to “current” on the July Bulletin, an aggregate advancement of more than 1,034 days in FY 2020 (see the chart below).

DATES FOR FILING (CHART B)

EB-5 dates for filing on the July Bulletin remain unchanged from the June Bulletin.

However, according to USCIS, the agency will continue using final action dates to determine the eligibility for filing adjustment of status applications for employment-based preference applicants in July 2020. See below for the statement on USCIS website:

For Employment-Based Preference Filings:
For all employment-based preference categories, you must use the Final Action Dates chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for July 2020.

This indicates that EB-5 applicants from China or Vietnam who are physically in the U.S. may not be able to file his/her adjustment of status application unless his/her priority date is earlier than the EB-5 final action date on the July Bulletin for the respective country.