October Visa Bulletin Now Available: No Movement on EB-5 Dates; Employment-Based Visa Availability at “All-Time High”

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, October 2020 Visa Bulletin (View PDF) is now available.

FINAL ACTION DATES (CHART A)

The EB-5 Regional Center category is currently listed as ‘U” (“unauthorized”) due to the fact that the EB-5 Regional Center Program (the Program) is set to expire on September 30, 2020.

However, the Program is expected to be reauthorized via the continuing resolution (CR) which just recently passed in the House and is with the Senate for a vote. Once the CR is passed in the Senate and signed by the President, the final action dates for the EB-5 Regional Center category will be the same as the dates for the non-EB-5 Regional Center category, which are:

  • China: August 15, 2015 (no movement from the September Visa Bulletin);
  • Vietnam: August 1, 2017 (no movement from the September Visa Bulletin);
  • All other countries: Current (no visa backlog)

(Chart A on the October Visa Bulletin)

DATES FOR FILING (CHART B)

The dates for filing of the EB-5 visa category on the October Visa Bulletin remain unchanged from the September Visa Bulletin. Applicants for immigrant visas who have a priority date earlier than the application date in the chart may assemble and submit required documents to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, following receipt of notification from the National Visa Center containing detailed instructions. 

(Chart B on the October Visa Bulletin)

However, USCIS has not yet announced whether adjustment of status applicants for the employment-based categories will be able to use Dates for Filing to submit their application in October. IIUSA will continue monitoring USCIS’ website for any future updates.  

 

VISA AVAILABILITY FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED CATEGORIES AT ALL-TIME HIGH

The October Visa Bulletin also announced that a total of 261,500 immigrant visas are available for the employment-based categories in FY2021, an “all-time high.” That means more than 18,560 visas will be available to EB-5 applicants in FY2021, an increase of 67% from FY2020. See below for the statement on Section E of the Visa Bulletin regarding the visa availability in FY2021: 

All of the Final Action and Application Filing Dates have been advanced at a very rapid pace, in anticipation of the FY 2021 annual limit being approximately 261,500, an all-time high. The movement of these dates has been taken in consultation with USCIS Office of Policy and Strategy to accommodate processing plans for USCIS Offices during the coming fiscal year and to maximize number use within the FY 2021 annual limits. Pending demand, in the form of applications for adjustment of status, and documentarily qualified immigrant visa applicants, is well below the estimated annual limit of 261,500. Adjustment of status applications filed early in FY 2021 are most likely to be adjudicated during the upcoming fiscal year.