Visa Bulletin October 2020

The US Department of State released the October 2020 Visa Bulletin (its first visa bulletin for the Fiscal Year 2021). This Visa Bulletin shows backlogs for people acquiring green cards in two categories. These include the employment-based category and the family category. Here are the key takeaways about the employment category in this visa bulletin.

Employment-Based, First Preference – EB-1

The cutoff dates for EB-1 China and EB-1 India have advanced to June 1, 2018. The dates for filing (DF) are set at September 1, 2020, in Chart B.

Employment-Based, Second Preference – EB-2

Like EB-1, the EB-2 category stays “current” for every other country of chargeability, except for China and India. EB-2 China will advance to March 1, 2016. The cutoff date for EB-2 China on Chart B is set to October 1, 2016. On the other hand, EB-2 India advances to September 1, 2009. On the DF chart, the cutoff date for EB-2 India is set to May 15, 2011.

Employment-Based, Third Preference – EB-3

The EB-3 category stays “current” for every other country of chargeability except for China and India. EB-3 India’s cutoff date advances by 3.5 months, to January 15, 2010. On the other hand, the cutoff date for EB-3 China advances by 4.5 months. Therefore, the new cutoff date is July 1, 2017. However, the date for EB-3 China is June 1, 2018, on the DF chart.

For EB-3 other workers, the cutoff dates are unchanged for every country. However, that is not the case with EB-3 other workers from China. Their cutoff date is December 1, 2008.

Employment-Based, Fourth Preference – EB-4

EB-4 is current for all other countries except for Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. EB-4 Mexico’s cutoff date is now September 1, 2018. However, the cutoff dates for the rest of the three countries are the same and have moved to August 1, 2017.

Employment-Based, Fifth Preference – EB-5

Worldwide, EB-5 will remain “current”—this includes India as well. However, EB-5 China’s cutoff date remains unchanged at August 15, 2015. This is also the case with EB-5 Vietnam, as its cutoff date is stuck at August 1, 2017. The scheduled expiration date for the EB-5 Regional Center program is September 30, 2020.


The cutoff dates have advanced at a quick rate, and the fiscal year 2021 annual limit is at an all-time high at approximately 261,500. In addition to that, the US Department of State predicts that the cutoff dates for India and China in the employee-based categories EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 will advance in the coming months.

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x104). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at