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The new fiscal year is upon us! The US Department of State issued the visa bulletin for October 2020. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during October for: “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications,” indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center.

See a related video: Attorney Rashmi Shah Discusses Expectations for the October 2020 Visa Bulletin

In addition to final action dates and dates for filing for family- and employment-based petitions, the visa bulletin contains notes on the Diversity Visa (DV) category, including the following:

  • the DV category rank cut-offs which will apply in November;
  • movement of the October final action and application filing dates;
  • visa availability in the coming months; and
  • the scheduled expiration of two employment categories, including the employment fourth preference certain religious workers (SR) and employment fifth preference (I5 and R5) categories.

For Family-Sponsored Filings:
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 may file using the Final Action Dates chart for October 2020.

For all the other family-sponsored preference categories, you must use the Dates for Filing chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for October 2020.

For Employment-Based Preference Filings:
For all employment-based preference categories, you must use the Dates for Filing chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for October 2020.

The FY2021 annual limit for employment-based visas is approximately 261,500.