In the December 2020 Visa Bulletin, the EB-3 cutoff date for India will retrogress by one year to January 1, 2014, and the EB-1 cutoff date for India and China will advance by two months to November 1, 2020.

The US Department of State has released its December 2020 Visa Bulletin, outlining per-country priority date cutoffs that regulate immigrant visa availability and the flow of adjustment of status application and consular immigrant visa application filings and approvals.

What Does the December 2020 Visa Bulletin Say?

The bulletin includes both a Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart and an Application Final Action Dates chart. The former indicates when intending immigrants may file their applications for adjustments of status or immigrant visas, and the latter indicates when adjustment of status applications or immigrant visa applications may be approved and permanent residence granted.

Each month, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) chooses which chart it will follow. For December 2020, the USCIS will follow the later “Dates for Filing” for Employment-Based Visa Applications chart for employment-based (EB) filings for adjustment of status. This means that individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status with USCIS in December 2020 may use the Dates for Filing chart below.

Dates for Filing Cutoff Dates

To be eligible to file an EB adjustment application in November 2020, a foreign national must have a priority date that is earlier than the date listed below for his or her preference category and country.

The “C” listing indicates that the category is current, and that applications may be filed regardless of the applicant’s priority date. The listing of a date for any category indicates that only applicants with a priority date that is earlier than the listed date may file their applications.

A person with an approved EB-2 petition may “downgrade” to the EB-3 category and receive the benefit of the later cutoff date by filing another I-140 petition in the EB-3 category. It is expected that there will continue to be a large volume of adjustment of status applications filed in December by persons whose previously backlogged cutoff dates have now become current and by persons who choose to downgrade to the EB-3 category.As anticipated, the volume of adjustment of status applications received in October and November caused the cutoff dates for EB-3 India to retrogress in December, with the result being that a number of persons who were eligible to file adjustment of status applications in October and November will no longer be able to do so in December when their priority dates are no longer current. Persons who are eligible to file adjustment of status applications because of the forward movement of cutoff dates are strongly encouraged to do so during the limited window for filing in November. Adjustment of status applicants whose applications are pending may continue to receive the benefits of such applications, including employment authorization documents and advance parole authorizations, even if their priority dates are no longer current.

Cutoff dates for persons chargeable to the “Rest of the World” allocation continue to be current, regardless of EB category. This means that all persons chargeable to this allocation may continue to file adjustment status applications in December. Cutoff dates for persons chargeable to China and India advanced to November 1, 2020, making this classification nearly current for all chargeable areas.