The U.S. Department of State has updated its Visa Bulletin for January 2020. This, in comparison to the Visa Bulletin for December 2019 does not show much movement in the Family-Based and Employment-Based categories. With Family-Based categories, there is a 0 – 4-month movement on priority dates, with the exception of Mexico, which has not had any movement since December 2019. The largest movement was in the Philippines, where the F3 preference category (married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens), which has jumped forward 6 months and the F4 preference category (Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens), which moved forward 5 months. With a 10-year waiting period for both the F3 and F4 category, this is not really a huge movement

With the Employment-Based petitions, the categories are divided as follows:


First:  Priority Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.

Second:  Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.

Third:  Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to “*Other Workers”.

Fourth:  Certain Special Immigrants:  7.1% of the worldwide level.

Fifth:  Employment Creation:  7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of Pub. L. 102-395.

In December 2019, we saw many Employment-Based Categories as “current” which meant that immediate I-485 adjustment of status filing. January brought about change in the 3rd and “Other Workers” preference category for “All Chargeability” areas, moving from “current” to a 12-month retrogression. India had no changes in their categories since December. China stayed the same in all categories except for the 1st preference, where they moved forward 1-month. Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and the Philippines had a significant change in the 3rd preference and “Other Workers” category, changing from “current”, to a a 12-month retrogression.

Looking at the new year, it appears that USCIS made significant progress in the EB-3 and Other Workers category at the end of 2019; however, this has quickly retrogressed to a 1-year backlog for most countries. In addition, while USCIS started to quickly adjudicate EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programs since the government shutdown of January 2019, providing immediate filing for most countries, except China which had a 5-year backlog, the beginning of the new year has brought about retrogression for several countries.

If your priority date is “current” and you are ready to file your I-485 adjustment of status, please contact us for your next steps.