Depending on whether you need to obtain a labor certification, processing time will vary.
Every month the US Department of State publishes the visa bulletin to show which family-based and employment-based green cards applications can move forward to apply for the visa. Every fiscal year (1st of October – 30th of September), approximately 140,000 employment-based visas are available to qualified applicants and each country is limited to receive 7% of green card (which is 9,800). As a result, applicants from countries with high number of applications such as China and India may need to wait awhile to submit their application.
When reading the visa bulletin, the most important word you need to become familiar with is “priority date”. Since labor certification is required for both EB-2A and EB-2B categories, the priority date for these categories will be the date on which the US Department of Labor (DOL) receives the Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) – ETA Form 9089. For the National Interest Waiver category which does not require labor certification, the date you filed the Form I-140 petition with USCIS will become your priority date. If you see a “Current (C)” in the box where your column meets your row, that means there is no quota backlog and you can now file your Form I-485.
If in case there is a date, that is the “cut-off date”. To check when you can file your application, you will need to compare this date with your priority date. If your priority date is on or before the cut-off date, this means that you can file your application now but if your priority date is after the cut-off date you will need to keep waiting.
Another important word that you must be aware of is the “final action date”. This date is a cut-off date that controls visa number available for this month. If it shows “Current (C)” on the chart, then your pending application is eligible for approval. If your priority date is before the final action, this means your pending application is ready for approval.
Visa Bulletin – September 2020
Chart A – Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases:
This chart shows which of the priority dates are now at the front of line for approval
|World||China||El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras||India||Mexico||Philippines||Vietnam|
|1st||Current||01 Mar 18||Current||01 Mar 18||Current||Current||Current|
|2nd||Current||15 Jan 16||Current||08 Jul 09||Current||Current||Current|
|3rd||01 Apr 19||15 Feb 17||01 Apr 19||01 Oct 09||01 Apr 19||01 Apr 19||01 Apr 19|
|Other Workers||01 Apr 19||01 Aug 08||01 Apr 19||01 Oct 09||01 Apr 19||01 Apr 19||01 Apr 19|
|4th||Current||Current||01 Apr 17||Current||15 Jun 18||Current||Current|
|Certain Religious Workers||Current||Current||01 Apr 17||Current||15 Jun 18||Current||Current|
|5th Non-Regional Center (C5 and T5)||Current||15 Aug 15||Current||Current||Current||Current||01 Aug 17|
|5th Regional Center (I5 and R5)||Current||15 Aug 15||Current||Current||Current||Current||01 Aug 17|
Chart B – Dates for Filing of Employment-Based Visa Applications:
This chart is primarily directed for applicants who will be applying for the visa application from outside of the US, it shows whether or not you can submit the visa application
|World||China||El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras||India||Mexico||Philippines|
|1st||Current||01 Jul 18||Current||01 Jul 18||Current||Current|
|2nd||Current||01 Aug 16||Current||15 Aug 09||Current||Current|
|3rd||01 Apr 20||01 May 17||01 Apr 20||01 Feb 10||01 Apr 20||01 Apr 20|
|Other Workers||01 Apr 20||01 Oct 08||01 Apr 20||01 Feb 10||01 Apr 20||01 Apr 20|
|4th||Current||Current||01 Oct 17||Current||Current||Current|
|Certain Religious Workers||Current||Current||01 Oct 17||Current||Current||Current|
|5th Non-Regional Center (C5 and T5)||Current||15 Dec 15||Current||Current||Current||Current|
|5th Regional Center (I5 and R5)||Current||15 Dec 15||Current||Current||Current||Current|
Note: For applicants filing the Form I-485, every month USCIS also publishes a page called “Adjustment of Status Filing Charts from the Visa Bulletin” to indicate which chart they will use to accept the applications. For September 2020, USCIS announced to use the Chart A – Final Action Dates.