Your Guide to the January 2022 Visa Bulletin, What to Expect, and More!

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It is that time of the month again! In this blog post, we will cover the release of the January Visa Bulletin 2022 and what you can expect for employment based and family preference categories during the month of January 2022.

The Department of State releases the visa bulletin on a monthly basis, which summarizes the availability of immigrant visa numbers for that particular month. The “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications,” charts indicate when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit the required documentation to the National Visa Center.


Adjustment of Status Filings for those lawfully residing in the United States


In general, if USCIS determines there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, the agency will provide instructions on the www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo webpage that applicants may use the Dates for Filing chart. Otherwise, USCIS will indicate that applicants must use the Final Action Dates chart to determine when they may file their adjustment of status application with USCIS. If a particular immigrant visa category is “current” on the Final Action Dates chart or the cutoff date on the Final Action Dates chart is later than the date on the Dates for Filing chart, applicants in that immigrant visa category may file using the Final Action Dates chart during that month.


Adjustment of Status Filing Chart January 2022


For Family-Sponsored Filings:

Pursuant to guidance released by USCIS, in the F2A category, there is a cutoff date on the Dates for Filing chart. However, the category is “current” on the Final Action Dates chart. This means that applicants in the F2A category only may file using the Final Action Dates Chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for January 2022.

For all other family-sponsored preference categories, applicants must use the Dates for Filing Chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for January 2022.


For Employment-Based Preference Filings:

All applicants, except EB-5 Regional Center, falling under employment-based preference categories, must use the Dates for Filing chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for January 2022. This means that USCIS will accept employment-based adjustment of status applications (except EB-5 Regional Center) with a priority date that is earlier than the Dates for Filing listed in the November Visa Bulletin.

NOTE: USCIS will not accept any new employment-based fifth preference adjustment of status applications based on the Regional Center Program until that program is reauthorized by Congress.


January 2022 Visa Bulletin Final Action Cutoff Dates


Employment Based Categories


FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES


According to the Department of State’s January 2022 Visa Bulletin, the following final cutoff dates will apply for the issuance of an immigrant visa for employment-based categories:

  • EB-1: All countries, including India and China, will remain current.
  • EB-2: India will advance by 9 weeks to July 8, 2012, and China will advance by 3 weeks to January 22, 2019. All other countries will remain current.
  • EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers: EB-3 India and China will remain the same as the previous month at January 15, 2012 and March 22, 2018 respectively. All other countries will remain current.
  • EB-5: The Non-Regional Center program will be current for all countries, including China. The Regional Center program has expired and is listed as unavailable in the January 2022 Visa Bulletin. If reauthorized, the Regional Center program will mirror the Non-Regional Center final action dates.

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DATES FOR FILING FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CATEGORIES


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Family Sponsored Categories


According to the Department of State’s January 2022 Visa Bulletin, the following final cutoff dates will apply for the issuance of an immigrant visa for family-sponsored categories:


FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES


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DATES FOR FILING FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES


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Impact of President Biden’s Rescission of Proclamation 10014 on the Issuance of Immigrant Visas


In February of this year, President Biden made the decision to rescind Presidential Proclamation 10014 and lift the temporary suspension on the issuance of visas for most immigrant and nonimmigrant visa categories, however the operational capacity at U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide remains limited due to COVID-19 safety concerns.

The Department of State has said that while some Embassies are prioritizing immigrant visa scheduling for spouses of U.S. Citizens, public health and safety concerns remain paramount. Moreover, U.S. Embassies and Consulates are facing substantial backlogs due to the suspension of most visa operations.

Applicants who were previously subject to the immigrant visa ban under Proclamation 10014 may continue with pre-processing of their applications, however their cases will not be scheduled for an interview until Embassies and Consulates return to routine operational capacity. This will likely take time therefore applicants should expect long delays. Those who were previously refused under the Immigrant Visa ban must wait for further instruction from the U.S. Consulate handling their application.


The Expiration of the EB-5 Regional Center Program


The EB-5 Regional Center program expired on June 30, 2021 and is therefore listed as “unavailable” in the January 2022 Visa Bulletin. Absent legislative action in Congress to reauthorize the program, immigrant visa issuance and adjustment of status adjudications under this category will be halted as of the close of business on June 30, 2021. Bills to reauthorize the Regional Center program are still pending in Congress, and we do not yet know what the outcome of this legislation will be. All updates on approved legislation will be provided right here on our blog. Discussions to resuscitate the program remain ongoing before Congress.

For the latest information on the status of the EB-5 Regional Center program please click here.

As a reminder EB-5 applications that were not submitted as part of the Regional Center program remain unaffected.


Questions? If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.


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Your Guide to the January 2022 Visa Bulletin, What to Expect, and More!