Friday, May 21, 2021


The Department of State has just issued the June 2020 Visa Bulletin. This is the ninth Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2021. This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.

Visa Bulletin

Table A: Final Action Dates -- Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card) or Immigrant Visa appointment.

Table B: Dates of Filing

The USCIS will be using the Table A: Final Action Dates chart for I-485 employment-based filings. A beneficiary must be current on the above Table A chart in order to file their I-485, Adjustment of Status applications. USCIS Adjustment of Status page.

MU Law Analysis

Both the Philippines and Worldwide (All Other) EB-3 continue to be current. Our opinion remains that these categories will stay current for the foreseeable future.

India EB-1 remains current, which continues to lead to extra visas will flowing down to India EB2 and EB3.  India EB-2 again moved ahead, this time by 4 months, a positive trend that has continued.  EB-3 also jumped up.  It moved 4 months.  We will see favorable processing times for the rest of 2021.

China EB-2 and EB-3 again both moved forward by a few months, a trend that should continue. China EB-1 remains current, reflecting the paucity of visas that were issued under the last year of the Trump presidency and the COVID pandemic.

Monday, May 10, 2021

USCIS Temporarily Suspends Biometrics Requirements for H-4 and L-2 Applicants

The USCIS has announced that it will temporarily suspend the biometrics requirements for H-4, L-2, E-1, E-2, and E-3 applicants. The suspension will last from May 17, 2021 until May 17, 2023, and will apply to H-4, L-2, E-1, E-2, and E-3 applicants with a pending Form I-539 who have not yet received a biometrics appointment notice as of May 17, 2021, and new applications for H-4, L-2, E-1, E-2, and E-3 received by USCIS from May 17, 2021 until May 17, 2023.

Applicants who receive a biometrics appointment notice before May 17, 2021 should plan to attend the appointment. Additionally, the USCIS retains the discretion to require biometrics on a case-by-case basis for any applicant. The USCIS is not expected to refund the $85 biometrics fee for applicants who are not required to attend the biometrics appointment.

The USCIS’s announcement comes as part of an ongoing lawsuit over long processing times for H-4 and L-2 employment authorization documents (EAD). It is hoped that the suspension of the biometrics requirements will help to address the backlog of pending Form I-539s and associated EAD applications.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021


U.S. embassies and consulates have begun using a tiered approach to manage their substantial backlog of immigrant visas.  Many embassies and consulates continue to have a significant backlog of all categories of immigrant visas.


Tier One: Immediate relative intercountry adoption visas, age-out cases (cases where the applicant will soon no longer qualify due to their age), and certain Special Immigrant Visas (SQ and SI for Afghan and Iraqi nationals working with the U.S. government)


Tier Two: Immediate relative visas; fiancé(e) visas; and returning resident visas


Tier Three: Family preference immigrant visas and SE Special Immigrant Visas for certain employees of the U.S. government abroad


Tier Four: All other immigrant visas, including employment preference and diversity visas

While the Posts will generally use these tiers in order, where possible, Posts are scheduling some appointments within all four priority tiers every month.  Still the State Department recognizes that visa applicants, “particularly those in Tiers Three and Four, will face continued delays.”