The February 2024 visa bulletin has arrived and there are some changes of note.
Before getting to the summary of the current bulletin, here is a little bit about what the Visa Bulletin is and the information it contains. Every person who becomes a permanent resident in the US is given an immigrant visa number. This includes all those overseas who go to the Consulate and are actually given an immigrant visa stamp in their passport as well as all those who file an I-485 in the US and are NOT given an actual immigrant visa stamp. The Visa Bulletin is a listing of where the Department of State and USCIS are in terms of handing out Immigrant Visas. Every permanent resident category is listed and a date is given (or a C for current) as to which cases can be filed in a given month. Those cases with priority dates PRIOR to the date listed in the visa bulletin can proceed to get an immigrant visa stamp overseas or to have their I-485s approved by USCIS in the US.
It should be noted that the visa bulletin now has two charts - Final Action Dates and Dates for Filing. The Final Action Date chart shows the dates for which immigrant visa numbers are actually available (so I-485s and consular processing cases which can be approved and an immigrant visa number granted). The Dates for Filing chart lists the dates in each category to alert the Consulates and USCIS as to where the Department of State feels the Final Action Dates will be within 6 months. This allows the Consulates to start working on cases that will become current over the next six months and gives USCIS the ability to allow people to file I-485 applications for cases for which the Final Action Date is not yet current but should be current in the near future. Every month, USCIS determines which chart people should use to determine if they can file an I-485 or not. For the month of January 2024, USCIS has determined that, for both Family and Employment-Based Categories, the Dates for Filing chart can be used. Now into the specifics of this months visa bulletin.
Family Based Cases:
F1: No Change
F2A: The Final Action Dates moved forward about 3 months to February 8, 2020. The Dates for Filing stayed at September 1, 2023. Considering where the Dates for Filing are, there should be more forward movement coming.
F2B: No Change
F3: No Change
F4: No Change
Employment Based Cases
EB1: Final Action Dates are still current for most of the world and still at same dates for China (July 1, 2022) and India (September 1, 2020)
EB2: Worldwide numbers moved forward about two weeks to November 15, 2022 (as did Mexico and the Philippines). India (March 1, 2012) and China (January 1, 2020) stayed at the same dates.
EB3: Most countries moved forward a month (Worldwide and Mexico and the Philippines to September 1, 2022 and India to July 1, 2012). China remained at September 1, 2020.
Final Action Dates: There were no movements in the dates for filing.
Not very much movement this month, however it is clear from the Dates for Filing that there should be significant forward movement for Worldwide EB-2 and EB-3 numbers shortly (at least 4-6 months hopefully).
Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.