October Visa Bulletin Released!

October Visa Bulletin Released: Are You Current?


The much anticipated October Visa Bulletin has been released! At first glance, it may look disappointing based on the July comments of Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division at the Department of State, who predicted that the conditions could allow employment-based allocations to increase to at least 250,000 immigrant visas. Instead, we are seeing family-based numbers remain the same and there are moderate advances in the employment-based categories.

We now know USCIS will allow the “Dates for Filing” chart, which opens up visas to several years of additional applicants in each category. The Visa Bulletin also predicts “rapid forward movement” so the Department of State and USCIS may be basing the charts on expected processing capacity. We should continue to see forward movement through 2021. 


Since USCIS is allowing the Dates for Filing Chart, Oppenheim’s predictions look more accurate:

  • Dates for Filing progressed significantly
  • All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed is current across all categories
    • EB-1 would advance 2.5 years
    • EB-2 would advance just shy of 2 years
    • EB-3 would advance over 5 years
    • EB-1 would advance over 2 years
    • EB-2 would advance 9 months
    • EB-3 would advance 1 year and 4 months
    • EB-5 would advance 4 months

MORE GOOD NEWS: “Rapid forward movement” for EB-1, EB-2, EB-3

The Visa Bulletin included more detail on the expected advancement through January of 2021.

FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)

Worldwide dates:

F1:  Up to three weeks
F2A: Current
F2B: Up to three weeks
F3:  Up to two weeks
F4:  Up to one week

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)

Employment First:

WORLDWIDE:   Current
China:               Rapid forward movement
India:                Rapid forward movement

Employment Second:

Worldwide:  Current
China:          Rapid forward movement
India:           Rapid forward movement

Employment Third:

Worldwide:   Current
China:           Rapid forward movement
India:            Rapid forward movement
Mexico:        Current
Philippines:  Likely to remain at the Worldwide date

Employment Third – Other Workers:

Worldwide:    Current
China:            Steady forward movement

Employment Fourth:  Current for most countries

El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras:  Steady forward movement
Mexico:  Steady forward movement

Employment Fifth:  The category will remain “Current” for most countries

China:       No forward movement
Vietnam:   Limited forward movement

The above final action date projections for the Family and Employment categories indicate what is likely to happen on a monthly basis through January.   The determination of the actual monthly final action dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables.

Next Steps

If you are current using the Dates for Filing chart, contact us immediately to get your case started.

  1. Request engagement letter and invoice.
  2. Determine whether you need to request work and travel permits and note on engagement letter.
    If you depart the U.S. prior to receiving your travel approval, USCIS will determine you have abandoned your request to adjust status. 
  3. Once the invoice is paid, funds remain in your client trust account.
  4. You will be invited to our secure client portal.
  5. The legal team will send you the appropriate checklists and questionnaires.
  6. Complete the questionnaires and upload the documents back to the portal.
  7. The attorney will guide you through the whole process and request any additional information to improve your filing.
  8. File before October 30, just in case the predictions for “rapid forward movement” don’t hold true due to the increased filings.

Not quite current? Start gathering your documentation to prepare for the rapid forward movement. Send your country of birth and priority date to info@challalaw.com so we can notify you if you may be eligible for filing when the next Visa Bulletin is released.


International Travel: Please advise our office if you have planned or anticipate any international travel in the next twelve months.

If you have ever been arrested in the U.S. or another country, please disclose to our office immediately so that our office can best represent you.  

  • Copy of Foreign Passport (and expired passport if it includes immigration history)
  • Most recent I-94
  • Copy of all prior immigration documentation (I-797s, I-20s, DS-2019s, I-601 waiver, etc.)
  • Copy of Employment Authorization Document (EAD) work cards
  • Copy of Birth Certificate
  • Copy of Marriage Certificate
  • For prior marriages, copy of marriage certificate and evidence of legal termination (divorce decree or death certificate)
  • Police Certificates – ONLY REQUIRED FOR CONSULAR PROCESSING (Must be obtained for any arrests in the U.S. or in another country.)
  • Documentation of any criminal arrests, convictions, etc. (REQUIRED IF APPLYING FROM U.S.)
  • Certificates of citizenship to other countries other than country of birth
  • Copy of any U.S. federal tax returns for three most recent years
  • Copy of any W-2 statements for three most recent years (or covering all years of employment for an employer-sponsored green card)
  • Copy of paystubs for six most recent months
  • Six (6) U.S. passport-style photos
  • Civil Surgeon Medical Exam – Form
    I-693 (sealed in an envelope with full name printed on the outside; must be submitted to USCIS within 60 days of physician’s signature)
  • I-485 Supplement J for employment-based cases (signed by original petitioning employer demonstrating continued offer of employment)
  • USCIS Filing Fee and Legal Fee

Any document not in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

Additional Resources

Join us on Wednesdays for a live webinar at 12 PM ET on critical immigration updates

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