The U.S. Department of State has released its February 2024 Visa Bulletin imposing per-country cut-off dates that regulate immigrant visa availability and the flow of Adjustment of Status (AOS) applications and consular Immigrant Visa application filings and approvals. In order to be “current,” the priority date held by a person applying for permanent residence must be before the cut-off date specified in the monthly Visa Bulletin.
To be eligible to file an Employment-Based (EB) AOS application, a foreign national’s priority date must be earlier than the date listed below for his or her preference category and country of chargeability. The “C” listing indicates that the category is current and that applications may be filed with any priority date.
The February 2024 Visa Bulletin Dates for Filing chart retains the India EB-1 cutoff date of January 1, 2021. EB-1 China’s cut-off date remains at January 1, 2023. In addition, EB-1 Rest of the World, Mexico, and Philippines remain current. The Rest of the World, Mexico, and Philippines EB-2 cut-off dates stay at February 15, 2023. EB-2 India’s cut-off date is unchanged from January at May 15, 2012. All EB-3 categories remain backlogged, with the EB-3 category for the Rest of the World unchanged at February 1, 2023. China EB-3 is also unchanged at July 1, 2021, and India EB-3 also unchanged at August 1, 2012.
Dates for Filing Chart Will Control in February 2024
The Visa Bulletin includes both a Dates for Filing chart and a Final Action Dates chart. The Final Action Dates chart indicates when a priority date is current and I-485 AOS applications or Immigrant Visa applications may be approved and permanent residence granted. The Dates for Filing chart, when followed by USCIS, indicates when intending immigrants may file their AOS applications with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Each month, USCIS chooses to either follow the Final Action or the Dates for Filing chart. For February 2024, the USCIS will follow the Dates for Filing chart for Employment-Based AOS application filings. Thus, those seeking to file applications for AOS with the USCIS in February 2024 must use the Dates for Filing chart shown below.
The February Visa Bulletin, like last month’s bulletin, contains no commentary by the State Department on the cut-off dates chosen for this month and no prediction is made as to future cut-off date movement or immigrant visa availability. The fact that no cut-off date movement occurred in the Dates for Filing chart, and there was only minimal movement in the Final Action Dates chart, seems to confirm that the DOS may be planning to implement significant changes only on a quarterly basis. If this is the case, it is likely that no further significant advancement or retrogression may occur until the April 2024 Visa Bulletin is issued.
The attorneys of Tafapolsky & Smith LLP will monitor and analyze all developments affecting immigrant visa availability, including all statements made by DOS officers before the publication of the relevant Visa Bulletin and will provide immediate updates on any significant developments.