All Countries – April 2020 Visa Bulletin

Analysis of the April 2020 Visa Bulletin issued by the U.S. State Department for Family Green Card Applicants who are chargeable to 🌐All Countries.

April 2020 Visa Bulletin

Preference
Final Action
Movement
Remark

🌐All Countries Visa Bulletin for April 2020

F1Jan 1, 2014+12 weeksThe advancement in April was significantly above expectations as, since January the guidance of the Visa Office has been short-term movement of 'up to 6 weeks'. This seems to indicate that, in spite of the change in terms of speed and advancement of F1 since July 2019, the State Department either seems unable to generate enough documentarily qualified candidates; or it wants to schedule more interviews between now and September 2020 to fully use the number of Green Cards available under the Annual Numerical Limits. In any instance, F1 is currently trending above its 5, 10, 15 and 20-year averages, so we maintain- given that F1 is prone to regressions that there is a period of prolonged, slower advancement coming up starting in the Fall of 2020.F1 Predictions
F2AApr 1, 2020+4 weeksFor the 10th month in a row, F2A is 'current' for all countries of chargeability. The readjustment that we have been expecting (and that the Visa Office alluded to earlier this year) has still not take place. All the better for Applicants. Applicants who can take advantage of the situation should (Applicants going through Adjustment of Status can file Form I-130 and I-485 concurrently; or file Form I-485 right away if they already filed Form I-130, even if Form I-130 is not approved yet). It is a bit suprising how long this situation has lasted, but it might simply be because less than 5% of F2As go through Adjustment (95% go through Consular Processing where the 'flow' of applicants is still guided by the Welcome Letter, not the Filing Date of the Visa Bulletin).F2A Predictions
F2BNov 1, 2014+6 weeksThe advancement in April is twice what we were expecting. Is it an anomaly, or a change that is going to last for a few months? We think that this is an anomaly for three reasons: 1) The Visa Office itself recently said that the short-term was only going to be 'up to 3 weeks' (which was a clear step down from 'up to 6 weeks earler'); 2) Fiscal Year 2019 was by far the best of the last 20 years and allowed F2B to 'catch up'; 3) F2B is now above its historical trends, and it needs to go back to its 'normal' averages.F2B Predictions
F3Feb 1, 2008+6 weeksIn spite of an advancement in April that is more than what we expected, we think that the advancement of F3 will be slower in the coming months. The Visa Office indicated as part of the January VB that the short-term movement was going to be '1 to 3 weeks' (from 'up to a month' earlier), and the last few months confirmed the trend. It makes sense because Fiscal Year 2019 was the best of the last 12 years, and F3 is now above its historical trends. So April could simply be a positive anomaly.F3 Predictions
F4Jul 1, 2006NoneThe retrogression is confirmed in April, and it would be a big surprise if anything were to change before October 2020. The Visa Office is talking about a 'dramatic increase' in F4 applications in recent months to explain the retrogression. This makes sense because the advancement had picked up considerably since February 2019 and at some point it generated enough Documentarily Qualified applicants to reach the Annual Numerical limits for F4.F4 Predictions

For other areas see Mexico and the Philippines.


What about F1? (Children of U.S. Citizens who are adults, but not married)

Preference
Final Action
Movement
Remark

🌐All Countries, F1 - April 2020

F1Jan 1, 2014+12 weeksThe advancement in April was significantly above expectations as, since January the guidance of the Visa Office has been short-term movement of 'up to 6 weeks'. This seems to indicate that, in spite of the change in terms of speed and advancement of F1 since July 2019, the State Department either seems unable to generate enough documentarily qualified candidates; or it wants to schedule more interviews between now and September 2020 to fully use the number of Green Cards available under the Annual Numerical Limits. In any instance, F1 is currently trending above its 5, 10, 15 and 20-year averages, so we maintain- given that F1 is prone to regressions that there is a period of prolonged, slower advancement coming up starting in the Fall of 2020.F1 Predictions

This is an overview of our F1 predictions (see our 3-year prediction):


What about F2A? (Spouses of Green Card holders, or young Children of Green Card holders who are not married)

Preference
Final Action
Movement
Remark

🌐All Countries, F2A - April 2020

F2AApr 1, 2020+4 weeksFor the 10th month in a row, F2A is 'current' for all countries of chargeability. The readjustment that we have been expecting (and that the Visa Office alluded to earlier this year) has still not take place. All the better for Applicants. Applicants who can take advantage of the situation should (Applicants going through Adjustment of Status can file Form I-130 and I-485 concurrently; or file Form I-485 right away if they already filed Form I-130, even if Form I-130 is not approved yet). It is a bit suprising how long this situation has lasted, but it might simply be because less than 5% of F2As go through Adjustment (95% go through Consular Processing where the 'flow' of applicants is still guided by the Welcome Letter, not the Filing Date of the Visa Bulletin).F2A Predictions

This is an overview of our F2A predictions (see our 3-year prediction):


What about F2B? (Children of Green Card holders who are adults, but not married)

Preference
Final Action
Movement
Remark

🌐All Countries, F2B - April 2020

F2BNov 1, 2014+6 weeksThe advancement in April is twice what we were expecting. Is it an anomaly, or a change that is going to last for a few months? We think that this is an anomaly for three reasons: 1) The Visa Office itself recently said that the short-term was only going to be 'up to 3 weeks' (which was a clear step down from 'up to 6 weeks earler'); 2) Fiscal Year 2019 was by far the best of the last 20 years and allowed F2B to 'catch up'; 3) F2B is now above its historical trends, and it needs to go back to its 'normal' averages.F2B Predictions

This is an overview of our F2B predictions (see our 3-year prediction):


What about F3? (Children of U.S. Citizens who are adults and married)

Preference
Final Action
Movement
Remark

🌐All Countries, F3 - April 2020

F3Feb 1, 2008+6 weeksIn spite of an advancement in April that is more than what we expected, we think that the advancement of F3 will be slower in the coming months. The Visa Office indicated as part of the January VB that the short-term movement was going to be '1 to 3 weeks' (from 'up to a month' earlier), and the last few months confirmed the trend. It makes sense because Fiscal Year 2019 was the best of the last 12 years, and F3 is now above its historical trends. So April could simply be a positive anomaly.F3 Predictions

This is an overview of our F3 predictions (see our 3-year prediction):


What about F4? (Brothers and Sisters of U.S. Citizens)

Preference
Final Action
Movement
Remark

🌐All Countries, F4 - April 2020

F4Jul 1, 2006NoneThe retrogression is confirmed in April, and it would be a big surprise if anything were to change before October 2020. The Visa Office is talking about a 'dramatic increase' in F4 applications in recent months to explain the retrogression. This makes sense because the advancement had picked up considerably since February 2019 and at some point it generated enough Documentarily Qualified applicants to reach the Annual Numerical limits for F4.F4 Predictions

This is an overview of our F4 predictions (see our 3-year prediction):


If I am going through Adjustment of Status, can I use the Filing Date?

Applicants going through Adjustment of Status are often allowed to use the ‘Filing Date’ of the Visa Bulletin to determine when they are allowed to file Form I-485. Here is the latest:

Preference
Filing Date
Movement
Status
F1Sep 1, 2014+12 weeksYes, the Filing Date can be used
F2AFeb 1, 2020+4 weeksYes, the Filing Date can be used
F2BJul 1, 2015+6 weeksYes, the Filing Date can be used
F3Oct 1, 2008+6 weeksYes, the Filing Date can be used
F4July 25, 2007NoneYes, the Filing Date can be used

When will the Interview be scheduled?

The process of scheduling the interview is initiated by U.S. immigration agencies when the following two requirements are met:

  • The applicant’s Priority Date is ‘current’ when compared to the relevant ‘Final Action Date’
  • The applicant’s Green Card Case is ‘interview-ready’ (also called ‘case complete’ or ‘documentarily qualified’, meaning that all the proper Forms, Evidence, and Fees necessary to make a decision on the Green Card Application have been received by U.S. Immigration Agencies).

Being ‘current’ means that the applicant’s Priority Date (which is when Form I-130 was filed) is ‘earlier’ than the relevant Final Action Date. If the relevant Final Action Date is January 1st 2018, then applicants with a Priority Date ‘earlier’ (that is up to December 31st 2016) are said to be current.
The relevant Final Action Date refers to the Final Action Date that applies to applicants based on their preference classification (F1, F2A, F2B, F3, F4) and countries of birth (Mexico, All Countries, …).

The month when the applicant’s Priority Date is current, U.S. Immigration agencies look for an available Interview slot in the month after next (if the applicant’s priority date becomes current in January, then they will start looking for slots in March). How long applicants wait depend on how busy the U.S. Consulate or USCIS Field office is.

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