The Department of Sate released the April 2020 Visa Bulletin on March 13. This is a pleasant surprise, given the fact that DOS has been publishing visa bulletins around the 18th for the past few months. We’ll see if this is a fluke or a gradual return to their traditional schedule.
However, this is one of the “boring” releases in terms of priority date movement.
No categories will advance dramatically, or move backwards in an expected fashion.
Let’s dive right in.
First of all, go to our Visa Bulletin Toolbox. This is where all of our tools are located:
The VB tracking graph, as shown by the big arrow, provides an excellent visual indication of the upcoming VB movement. You don’t have to carefully examine the dates to know how cutoff dates are going to advance. And you can easily compare with other categories or countries. And it’s 10 years of VB data in one graph.
No other place will give you this much information with just one click:
When you mouse over or tap any point on the graph, you will see the exact cut-off date for that month. You can also zoom in to see more details.
Just from glancing, you can see that there is no sudden shifts for April. All categories basically advance slightly from March.
Data confirmed the same:
India EB2 will move forward by a mere 3 days. And EB3 is not much better, only advancing 7 days.
China EB2 and EB3 will move up 17 days and 24 days, respectively.
These movements are not even keeping up with the calendar month, so it means retrogression becomes a bit worse.
|Chargeability||Preference||Cut-off Date (Y-M-D)||Movement (Days)|
EB-1 categories are doing much better: ROW (rest of the world) advances by 3 months, and India is not bad either with 2 months, but China is a little disappointing with just 7 days.
ROW-EB2, as an outliner, remain “Current.”
Keep in mind that all of the above are from the Final Action chart, which is used for making a final decision on a green card application, including both I-485 adjustment of status and consular processing.
For the filing chart, please refer to April 2020 Visa Bulletin page.
USCIS will issue their I-485 charts based on the DOS visa bulletins in a few days.
Other than employment-based categories, our tracking graph also covers all family-sponsored categories: F1, F2A, F2B, F3 and F4.
It’s actually easier to predict family-sponsored categories because unlike EB, there aren’t as many ups and downs. For example, F2B. They’re simply flat curves for decades, so you can pretty much tell what cut-off dates will be next month.
For readers who are new to this, here is the definition of each family category:
- F1: First Preference (Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens)
- F2A: Second Preference, Subcategory A (Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents)
- F2B: Second Preference, Subcategory B (Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents)
- F3: Third Preference (Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens)
- F4: Fourth Preference (Brothers and Sisters of U.S. Citizens)
Our visa bulletin toolbox offers another great way to track your cut off dates: Category-specific visa bulletins.
Just select your own country and category, and see all the cutoff dates, wait times, and movement from previous month. For example, this table below is for China EB2:
|VB Year||VB Month||Cut-Off Date (Y-M-D)||Movement (days)||Wait Time (days)|
This trend of slow movement will likely continue for the May 2020 Visa Bulletin. There is rarely any big changes for May, based on the tracking graphs. However, if the Department of State issues any predictions, we will update this post promptly.