October 2020 Visa Bulletin and Predictions – Big News for 2021

After a long delay, the Department of State finally released October Visa Bulletin on 9/24/2020.

October is the first month of a new fiscal year, FY-2021, and new visa numbers will be made available for this month. As a result, significant movement was expected.

As shown in the image above, all major EB categories will advance for October.

For China, EB1 will move forward by three months, EB2 will advance by one and a half month, and EB3 will leap forward by 4.5 months.

Similarly, India will advance 3 months for EB1, almost 2 months for EB2, and 3.5 moths for EB3.

For Rest of the World, EB1, EB2 and EB3 will all be current for October, 2020.

For EB3-Other category, all countries will be current except China and India, which will have a cutoff date of 2008-12-1 and 2010-1-15, respectively.

For EB5, all countries will be current except China (2015-8-15) and Vietnam (2017-8-1).

EB5 Regional Center are showing “Unavailable” for all countries because the program expires on September 30, unless reauthorized in time.

Great News for EB Applicants in FY-2021

The State Department announced that for FY-2021, the total number of employment-based visas will be set to 261,500. This is a all-time high! As a comparison, FY2020 limit was 156,253, so we’ll be seeing a 67% increase for next year.

The reason is that COVID-19 caused a dramatic decrease in issuance of family-sponsored immigrant visas. Trump Administration’s visa ban in April put consular processing into a halt, which freed up a large number of unused immigrant visas. As a result, employment-based applicants will benefit tremendously for FY-2021.

Visa Bulletin Predictions

The 67% increase of EB visa numbers will cause all countries to advance rapidly in the coming months. The State Department provided their predictions:

  • EB1:
    • WORLDWIDE: Current
    • China: Rapid forward movement
    • India: Rapid forward movement  
  • EB2:
    • Worldwide:  Current
    • China: Rapid forward movement
    • India: Rapid forward movement       
  • EB3:
    • Worldwide: Current
    • China: Rapid forward movement       
    • India: Rapid forward movement
    • Mexico: Current
    • Philippines: Likely to remain at the Worldwide date
  • EB3 – Other Workers:   
    • Worldwide: Current
    • China: Steady forward movement        
  • EB4: 
    • Current for most countries
    • El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras:  Steady forward movement
    • Mexico:  Steady forward movement        
  • EB5: 
    • The category will remain “Current” for most countries
    • China: No forward movement 
    • Vietnam: Limited forward movement

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