Did March 2021 Visa Bulletin Meet Priority Date Forward Movement Projections from the February Bulletin?


Last month, we blogged [1] about potential priority date forward movement projections contained in the February 2021 visa bulletin.

On February 23, 2021 the Department of State (DOS) posted the March 2021 visa bulletin.

Now is the time to assess whether the projections put forth by the February visa bulletin still holds true.

For the most part, the projections from the February visa bulletin met, and in some cases, exceeded expectation. [2]

Key Observations:

With regard to the worldwide family-sponsored categories, except for F-2A, the forward movement projection fell short by a week. For instance, F-1, F-2B, F-3 and F-4 moved forward by a week compared to the projected up to two weeks.

On the employment-based side, the priority date forward movement projections not only met but in certain preference categories exceeded expectations. As projected, worldwide EB-1 stayed ‘current’. EB-1 India and China was projected to move forward by up to six months in March but jumped forward by seven months. Both India and China EB-1 priority date for March stands at August 1, 2020.

Though China EB-2 moved forward by four weeks (surpassing the projected up to three weeks forward movement), the biggest surprise was for India EB-2 and EB-3.

Both India EB-2 and EB-3 moved forward by at least three months against projected two weeks for EB-2 and three weeks for EB-3. India EB-3 for March stands at July 1, 2010 compared to January 15, 2010 for India EB-2.

Also, China EB-3 leaped forward by 5 weeks compared to projected forward movement of up to 4 weeks.

Further, the March 2021 visa bulletin did not report any aberration with regard to the forward movement projections of priority dates in the EB-4 and EB-5 preference categories.

All in all, the priority date forward movement projections contained in the February 2021 visa bulletin still look promising. We hope that the positive trend continues at least until May 2021, as was originally projected.

Note that USCIS will use the ‘Final Action Dates’ chart in the March visa bulletin for accepting employment-based preference adjustment of status filings. Except for the F-2A category, USCIS has decided to use the ‘Dates for Filing’ chart for accepting other family-sponsored adjustment of status filings in March.

If you need additional information about the March 2021 visa bulletin or need help filing an adjustment of status application, please reach out to us at info@hsdimmigration.com


[2] All comparisons refer to the ‘Final Action Dates’ chart in both visa bulletins.

About The Author

Rabi Singh is the Founding Partner of HSD Immigration, LLC.From individuals to startups to multinational corporations, Rabi has advised clients in a variety of industries, with a focus on the information technology and financial services industries. His work focuses on complex employment- and family-based immigration matters. Because of his excellent client service, Rabi has received multiple AVVO’s Clients’ Choice Awards. He also holds AVVO’s Highest Rating (10.0). Rabi’s areas of expertise include, but are not limited to, various employment-based green cards; investment-based visas; a range of nonimmigrant visa petitions such as H-1B, L-1, TN, O, P, U, etc.; waiver applications; humanitarian reinstatement applications; affirmative and defensive asylum applications; family- and marriage-based green cards; CSPA and DHS TRIP matters; motion to reopen/reconsider; and AAO and BIA appeals. He regularly obtains favorable immigration benefits by filing Federal Court Complaints against DHS/USCIS challenging their arbitrary and capricious decisions. Rabi’s practice also focuses in the area of worksite enforcement and compliance which involves advising corporate clients on DOL/WHD audits and I-9 investigations. An avid writer, Rabi frequently writes for both print and electronic media. He authored a Book Chapter Article for ILW’s PERM Book (2017-2018 Edition, Editor: Joel Stewart). His articles have featured in the prestigious New Jersey Law Journal and Law360. In addition, he is a frequent contributor to ILW.COM.

Scott Girard is the Founding Partner of HSD Immigration, LLC. Scott is located in the firm’s Lenexa, KS, office. He has advanced knowledge and experience in removal defense and immigration litigation. He also has experience with family-based immigration, humanitarian relief, naturalization, and business immigration cases. Scott previously managed his own firm, Law Offices of Scott A. Girard. Before that, he worked at the nationally renowned immigration litigation firm, Sharma-Crawford Attorneys at Law, in Kansas City, MO, for four years defending and advocating for his clients at the Kansas City Immigration Court.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.