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July 2024 Visa Bulletin – Giant Forward/Backward Leaps in Two Categories; Small Advances and Stalls Elsewhere
Thursday, June 13, 2024

The July Visa Bulletin brings both ho-hum and completely unexpected news, for both better and worse.

Below is a summary that includes Final Action Dates and changes from the previous month, but first – some background if you’re new to these blog posts. If you’re an old hand at the Visa Bulletin, feel free to skip the next paragraph.

The Visa Bulletin is released monthly by the US Department of State (in collaboration with US Citizenship and Immigration Services). If your priority date (that is, the date you got a place on the waiting list) is earlier than the cutoff date listed in the Bulletin for your nationality and category, that means a visa number is available that month, which in turn means you can submit your DS-260 immigrant visa application (if applying at a US embassy abroad) or I-485 adjustment of status application (if applying with USCIS). If you already submitted that final step and your category then retrogressed, the embassy or USCIS cannot approve your application until the Visa Bulletin shows that a number is again available.

Now for the July VB news – As it predicted in the June Bulletin, the State Department has retrogressed EB-3 All Other Countries, but significantly more than we anticipated based on modest movement in other categories. On the other hand, the predicted retrogression for EB-2 All Other Countries has not (yet) happened, with only 2 months left in the fiscal year. And finally, we have a completely unanticipated, huge leap forward in a major category for India. Read on!

India: Here we find July’s surprisingly big mover … but other categories barely budge:

  • EB-1 leaps forward 11 months, to February 1, 2022.
  • EB-2 advances only 2 months, to June 15, 2012.
  • EB-3 Professional and EB-3 Other Workers progress even less, only 1 month, to September 22, 2012.

China: July will bring only very small advances for China:

  • EB-1 moves up 2 months, to November 1, 2022.
  • EB-2 inches forward only 1 month, to March 1, 2020.
  • EB-3 Professional and EB-3 Other Workers both stall out, at September 1, 2020, and January 1, 2017, respectively.

All Other Countries: On the flip side of India, this category contains the largest retrogression for July:

  • EB-1 remains current.
  • EB-2 advances only 2 months, to March 15, 2023.
  • EB-3 Professionals retrogresses almost 1 year, to December 1, 2021 (with more bad news for RoW Professionals in NOTE 1 below).
  • EB-3 Other Workers progresses almost 3 months, to January 1, 2021 (except Philippines, which stalls at May 1, 2020).

NOTE 1: This month’s Bulletin predicts that continued high demand and number use in EB-3 All Other Countries will force even more retrogression or make the category “Unauthorized” (aka “Unavailable”) for any visa issuance at all next month.

NOTE 2: USCIS will accept I-485 applications in July based on Final Action Dates, not the more favorable Dates for Filing chart. Note that the Dates for Filing chart applies only to I-485 applications with USCIS. Immigrant visa applications with US embassies are always based on the Final Action Dates chart.

Carol Schlenker contributed to this article

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