The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released the March 2022 Visa Bulletin.1 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has also confirmed that it will accept employment-based Form I-485, Applications to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, next month according to the Visa Bulletin’s Dates of Filing chart.2  

WHY THIS MATTERS

Each month, the DOS releases a Visa Bulletin indicating the availability of statutorily limited visas for prospective immigrants.3 The cut-off dates reflected in the Visa Bulletin, coupled with USCIS’ confirmation of which chart will apply, dictate eligibility to file a Form I-485 application in each month. In addition, the Final Action Dates chart in the applicable Visa Bulletin determines whether a pending Form I-485 or immigrant visa application may be approved. 

Employment-Based Preference Category Cut-Off Dates

The cut-off dates in the employment-based Final Action Dates chart of the March 2022 Visa Bulletin reflect advancement in the EB-2 category for India and the EB-3 Other Workers category for the People’s Republic of China (“China”). More specifically, EB-2 India advanced by four months and EB-3 Other Workers China advanced by one month. The Final Action Dates for next month are as follows: 

EB-1: All countries of chargeability will remain current.

EB-2: All countries of chargeability except for China and India will remain current. China’s cut-off date will remain at March 1, 2019, whereas India’s cut-off date will progress to May 1, 2013.

EB-3 Professional and Skilled Workers: All countries of chargeability except China and India remain current. China’s cut-off date will remain at March 22, 2018, and India’s cut-off date will remain at January 15, 2012.

EB-3 Other Workers: All countries of chargeability except China and India will remain current. China’s cut-off date will advance to May 1, 2012, and India’s cut-off date will remain at January 15, 2012.

EB-4: All countries, except El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, will remain current. The cut-off for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras will retrogress to May 1, 2017, while Mexico’s cut-off date will remain at April 1, 2020. The non-minister special immigrant program under the EB-4 category expired on February 18, 2022. Accordingly, no immigrant visas for non-minister special immigrants have been able to receive an immigrant visa or adjust status as of this date.

If the non-minister special immigrant program is reauthorized next month, then the Final Action Dates for individuals applying under this category will immediately become current for all countries, except El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, which would be subject to the same Final Action Dates that apply for other EB-4 applicants chargeable to these countries.4

EB-5: The Non-Regional Center program will be current for all countries. The Regional Center program has expired. If the Regional Center program is reauthorized next month, then the Final Action Dates will immediately become current for all countries, except China, which would be subject to a cut-off November 22, 2015.

The DOS indicated that it may be necessary to establish an EB-5 Non-Regional Center Final Action Date and Date for Filing cut-off for China as early as April 2022. Also, the DOS warned that the Final Action Date cut-off for EB-2 India may retrogress soon, depending on demand in the EB-5 category. Note that EB-2 India utilizes any unused numbers from the EB-5 category.5

USCIS announced it will follow the Dates for Filing chart in March 2022. The cut-off dates per the Dates for Filing chart in next month’s Visa Bulletin are below.

EB-1: All countries of chargeability will be current.

EB-2: All countries of chargeability except India and China will be current. China’s cut-off date will remain at April 1, 2019, and India’s cut-off date will progress to September 1, 2013.

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers: All countries of chargeability except India and China will be current. China’s cut-off date will remain at April 1, 2018, and India’s cut-off date will remain at January 22, 2012.

EB-3 Other Workers: All countries of chargeability except India and China will remain current. China’s cut-off date will progress to June 1, 2015, and India’s cut-off date will remain at January 22, 2012.

EB-4: All countries of chargeability except El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras will remain current. The cut-off date for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras remains May 15, 2019.

EB-5: The Non-Regional Center program remains current for all countries. The Regional Center program remains current for all countries except for China. China’s cut-off date will remain at December 15, 2015.

USCIS has announced that in March 2022, it will allow applicants to submit I-485 applications based on the Dates for Filing chart. The cut-off dates per the Dates for Filing chart of the March 2022 Visa Bulletin are below.

EB-1: All countries of chargeability will remain current.

EB-2: All countries of chargeability except for China and India will be current. China’s cut-off date will remain at April 1, 2019, and India’s cut-off date will remain at September 1, 2013.

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers: All countries of chargeability except China and India will remain current. China’s cut-off date will remain at April 1, 2018, and India’s cut-off date will remain at January 22, 2012.

EB-3 Other Workers: All countries of chargeability except China and India will remain current. China’s cut-off date will progress to July 1, 2015, and India’s cut-off date will remain at January 22, 2012.

EB-4: All countries except El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras will remain current. The cut-off date for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras will regress to June 15, 2017.

EB-5: The Non-Regional Center program remains current for all countries. The Regional Center program remains current for all countries except for China. The cut-off date for China will remain at December 15, 2015. 

Despite the Dates for Filing chart for next month showing that the EB-5 Regional Center program category will be current for most countries, USCIS will reject an I-485 filing based on an I-526 immigrant visa petition filed by an approved Regional Center.6

FOOTNOTES

1  U.S. Department of State website.

2  See the “Adjustment of Status Filing Charts from the Visa Bulletin” page on the USCIS website.

3  For our prior coverage of the February 2022 Visa Bulletin, read GMS Flash Alert 2021-011  (January 19, 2022).

4  U.S. Department of State website.

5  Ibid.

6  See USCIS, Approved EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Centers

* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labor law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.

 

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm Canada.

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