A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration lawyer. We serve clients in all U.S. states and overseas countries. (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

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Friday, May 1, 2020

Visa Bulletin Predictions - May 2020 and Beyond

Every month after the release of the monthly visa bulletin, DOS Visa Office Chief Mr. Charlie Oppenheim provides his insights to AILA on the trends, movements, predictions, etc. regarding the usage of immigrant visa numbers. The following are his most important insights following up on the publication of the May 2020 visa bulletin.

The bulletin published late, likely owing to office closures in response to COVID-19. Another factor was also recently introduced: President Trump's recent order to freeze immigration for 60 days.

Unfortunately, the ongoing pandemic has left Charlie with limited resources to make projections with. He does note that family-based categories will advance in May as they did in March and April despite current conditions. The reason is partly because the State Department wants to encourage document submission to the NVC (National Visa Center) and maximize visa usage toward the fiscal year's limit.  Our firm's experience is that the NVC has been especially more efficient and helpful lately. 

Notable advancements for May 2020 family categories include F2A remaining current worldwide. Also, F2B Philippines moved four months to June 1, 2020. F1, F3, and F4 moved forward six months to September 1, 2010, November 15, 2000 and October 1, 2000, respectively.

These recent delays in processing could result in unused visa numbers for other category use. Charlie explains that how many depends on when USCIS offices and consulates reopen.

The June 2020 visa bulletin is expected to publish as normal. Charlie ends his check-in by recommending everyone monitor state and USCIS websites. Staying updated is very important for immigrant visa applicants during this unpredictable time.

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