In the recently published October visa bulletins, EB-2 and EB-3 visas are now current for most countries expect for Mainland China, India, and the Philippines. EB-2 and EB-3 visas became retrogressed in September for the world as visas were used up towards the end of the fiscal year. Now, in FY 2020, the two visas have now become available again for all countries except for the ones listed above. EB-2 for Mainland China has actually retrogressed by an additional 2 years to January 1, 2015, while India advanced by four days to May 12, 2009. EB-3 for Mainland China advanced by almost 2 years to November 1, 2015, while India advanced by three and a half years to January 1, 2009. The Philippines advanced by more than a year to October 15, 2017.

Every year, Congress sets limits on the number of immigrant visas that can be issued each year. In order to adjust status to that of a legal permanent resident, also known as a Green Card holder, an immigrant visa must be available to the applicant both at the time of filing and at the time of adjudication. Visa retrogression happens when a country’s visa allowance is not “current”, but rather a cutoff date is imposed on its applicants. The Department of State publishes a monthly Visa Bulletin which lists the cutoff dates that govern visa availability. It determines which applicants are eligible to file for adjustment of status, as well as which applicants are eligible for permanent resident status. Applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cutoff date published in the most current Visa Bulletin are eligible to apply for permanent residence.

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