Huge Forward Movement in New October 2020 Visa Bulletin
The new Visa Bulletin was released this morning by the Department of State, and it is quite the change both in terms of “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing”. As we expected, with a new fiscal year, the EB-1, EB-2, EB-3 categories for “all other Countries” shows that it is current. What we did not know was how far the DOS would advance the Bulletin for India and China, and it is especially extraordinary for the “Dates for Filing” chart where EB-3 India is now January 1, 2015 – a jump of nearly five years.
Now we await word as to whether USCIS permits filing on the “Dates for Filing” chart, or it remains based on the “Final Action Dates” – we hopefully will confirm this by the end of the week.
Know that this forward movement creates a lot of opportunity and a lot of questions. To complicate matters, USCIS recently re-implemented the I-944 requirement with I-485 filings. The I-944 requires supporting documents that most clients cannot reasonably get within a few business days. As a result, we will likely file any immediate I-485s without the I-944 (note that given USCIS’ Monday announcement to start including the I-944 again, they did give everyone until 10/13/2020 before it is a mandatory pre-filing form).
Given how far ranging the possible impact of the Visa Bulletin is, we are now checking our records to see what cases may be eligible for Adjustment of Status filing, and again we will need to wait until USCIS confirms which list we should use.
There have been a number of relevant questions this new VB has raised including the following:
- My I-140 approval is for EB-2 with a Jan 2014 priority date, should I switch to EB-3?
There are three elements to this question – first (1) whether USCIS will permit use of the “Dates for Filing” chart as the EB-3 priority date is not current on the “Final Action Dates” – we will hopefully know this at the end of the week; second (2), does your PERM allow for a transition from EB-2 to E-3 – in other words is it drafted in a manner that we can make an EB-3 argument; while most EB-2s are, not all will qualify and we would have to review this; and third (3) whether it is worth the effort to switch. Without examining every possible issue, if the employee’s wish is to get a work permit for themselves or a spouse or teenage child this will accomplish that. It will also give the main applicant some additional protections in the event of a job loss for any reason. So generally speaking, this ability to get into the AOS queue provides additional stability and benefits. On the flip side, anyone with a later priority date should be aware of the likelihood that the Visa Bulletin could retrogress.
- Why is there such movement in this year’s Visa Bulletin?
The very easy answer is that with consulates shuttered for over six months and the federal government freezing most family based immigrant visas, the government did not use all allotted IVs for the family-based quota for FY 2019. As a result, there are a number of immigrant visas that automatically are handed over to the business based immigrant visa quotas, and some have estimated we are getting an additional 100,000 to 110,000 extra IVs this fiscal year and that has created this unique forward momentum.If you have not heard from us and you have a case that appears current in the Final Action or Dates for Filing charts, please email us directly and confirm your priority date and employer and we will be in touch shortly.
Do Not Miss Upcoming Webinars – Stay Current on New Policy Changes
As the Coronavirus Pandemic has continued to impact our daily life and local economies, we know that the impact is still being felt and that not all government offices and benefits are readily available. This has clearly lasted longer and had more profound effects than any of us originally imagined. To ensure our clients and friends are better aware of the impact of prior and recent policy announcements (including the June Presidential Proclamation on NIVs) we are going to hold a series of webinars to better educate clients on the current state of immigration policy. To this end, we are holding the following free talks:
Pandemic Planning – How to Prepare for New Normal of WFH/Distributed Teams (October 6th at 11:00 am PST)
When the pandemic first struck the focus was on keeping everyone safe and out of the office. Companies and governments responded to this new need and temporarily relaxed compliance with various rules related to the hiring of foreign nationals. Now employers are increasing the stay at home allowance and employees in certain cases are being permitted to move to suit their personal needs. David will speak to the issue of how to handle the initial compliance issues surrounding moving to remote workers and work from home while maintaining foreign talent. He’ll also discuss long-term planning issues and what to consider both in terms of process and policy development as this change impacts not just initial non-immigrant filings but also future planning for green cards.
Don’t miss this important session to better understand how you can continue to attract and retain foreign talent while moving to a more remote platform.
REGISTER HERE For Pandemic Planning
5 Biggest Mistakes Immigration Attorneys Make – and How to Avoid Them (October 15th at 11:00 am PST)
Managing Partner David Zaritzky Brown has been practicing in the field of business immigration law for over 22 years, and during this time he’s seen a ton of problems caused by other attorneys’ filing mistakes. And unfortunately many of these mistakes were easily avoidable by asking the right questions or having a solid footing in this field of expertise. And given how difficult the current administration has been on immigration petitions there is no need to give the government an excuse to deny your petition! David will discuss the common and vexing mistakes he’s seen and how to avoid them through a discussion of specific scenarios. And if time allows David will add in a bonus mistake or two to look out for.
In this age of increased compliance and fees, tune in to find out how to bullet-proof your applications and avoid unnecessary denials.
REGISTER HERE For 5 Biggest Mistakes
Once registered, you will receive an email with a link to use to join the video chat on the day of the event. Please note: This link should not be shared with others; it is unique to you. If you ever misplace the invitation link, simply visit the webinar schedule on our website to join the LIVE chat.
If you have contacts or colleagues who may benefit from our talks, you are welcome to invite them to join our VIP invitation list by sharing our webinar schedule where they can subscribe for further information.
Don’t miss these opportunities to increase your knowledge on important immigration issues!
Thank you and we look forward to having you at the event.
The Team at Brown Immigration Law
** This newsletter/memo is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. It does not act as a substitute for direct legal contact on an individual basis **