All Countries – July 2020 Visa Bulletin

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

July 2020 Visa Bulletin

Preference
Final Action
Movement
Remark

🌐All Countries Visa Bulletin for July 2020

F1Jul 8, 2014+6 weeksThe advancement in July remains strong, even after April, May, and June 2020 which were months significantly above expectations.

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.

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 is coming up starting in the Fall of 2020.
F1 Predictions
F2AJul 1, 2020+4 weeksF2A has now been 'current' for all countries of chargeability (including Mexico and the Philippines for more than a year.

We never expected this 'current' situation to last that long, and we were even lead by the Visa Office to expect a cutoff date to be re-established in the first few months of 2020.

Now, however, with the combination of Covid-19 and the Green Card suspension, we have every reason to believe that F2A will remain 'current' at least until the end of the present Fiscal Year in September 2020 --> only the 5% of F2A applicants who file from within the United States can have an interview scheduled at the moment, so that is not going to use many of the available Green Cards.

In any instance, all 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).
F2A Predictions
F2BMay 1, 2015+6 weeksFor now four consecutive months (April, May, June, and July), the advancement of F2B is about twice what we were expecting. Is it an anomaly, or a change that is going to last for a few months?

Considering recent events, a case can be made for both scenario.

It could be an anomaly because: 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.

It could last, because there could be an attempt to use the Visa Numbers usually used for Consular Processing for Adjustment cases, mitigating the effect of the 60-day Green Card suspension.
F2B Predictions
F3May 8, 2008+3 weeksFor now the fourth month in a row (April, May, June, and July), the advancement of F3 has been above our expectations.

We find that suprising for two reasons: 1) F3 is materially above its 10-year trend, and it normally should revert to that line (and slow down as a result); 2) The Visa Office itseld 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).

Obviously, the context of the 60-day Green Card suspension and Covid-19 make predictions all the more difficult.
F3 Predictions
F4Aug 22, 2006+2 weeksThere was positive movement in both May, June and now July 2020, and that is a bit of a surprise.

The assumption was that, after the retrogression of February, there would not be any advancement before October 2020. The Visa Office itself was saying so, talking about a 'dramatic increase' in F4 applications in recent months to explain the retrogression and imply that, because advancement picked up considerably since February 2019, they had enough Documentarily Qualified applicants to reach the Annual Numerical limits for F4.

So why the positive advancement? It feels more and more like a 'technical' adjustment, and we are wondering if the advancement of the date has any real impact on applicants.
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 - July 2020

F1Jul 8, 2014+6 weeksThe advancement in July remains strong, even after April, May, and June 2020 which were months significantly above expectations.

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.

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 is 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 - July 2020

F2AJul 1, 2020+4 weeksF2A has now been 'current' for all countries of chargeability (including Mexico and the Philippines for more than a year.

We never expected this 'current' situation to last that long, and we were even lead by the Visa Office to expect a cutoff date to be re-established in the first few months of 2020.

Now, however, with the combination of Covid-19 and the Green Card suspension, we have every reason to believe that F2A will remain 'current' at least until the end of the present Fiscal Year in September 2020 --> only the 5% of F2A applicants who file from within the United States can have an interview scheduled at the moment, so that is not going to use many of the available Green Cards.

In any instance, all 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).
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 - July 2020

F2BMay 1, 2015+6 weeksFor now four consecutive months (April, May, June, and July), the advancement of F2B is about twice what we were expecting. Is it an anomaly, or a change that is going to last for a few months?

Considering recent events, a case can be made for both scenario.

It could be an anomaly because: 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.

It could last, because there could be an attempt to use the Visa Numbers usually used for Consular Processing for Adjustment cases, mitigating the effect of the 60-day Green Card suspension.
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 - July 2020

F3May 8, 2008+3 weeksFor now the fourth month in a row (April, May, June, and July), the advancement of F3 has been above our expectations.

We find that suprising for two reasons: 1) F3 is materially above its 10-year trend, and it normally should revert to that line (and slow down as a result); 2) The Visa Office itseld 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).

Obviously, the context of the 60-day Green Card suspension and Covid-19 make predictions all the more difficult.
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 - July 2020

F4Aug 22, 2006+2 weeksThere was positive movement in both May, June and now July 2020, and that is a bit of a surprise.

The assumption was that, after the retrogression of February, there would not be any advancement before October 2020. The Visa Office itself was saying so, talking about a 'dramatic increase' in F4 applications in recent months to explain the retrogression and imply that, because advancement picked up considerably since February 2019, they had enough Documentarily Qualified applicants to reach the Annual Numerical limits for F4.

So why the positive advancement? It feels more and more like a 'technical' adjustment, and we are wondering if the advancement of the date has any real impact on applicants.
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
F1Apr 22, 2015+9 weeksYes, the Filing Date can be used
F2AJun 1, 2020+4 weeksYes, the Filing Date can be used
F2BFeb 1, 2016+8 weeksYes, the Filing Date can be used
F3Apr 15, 2009+4 weeksYes, the Filing Date can be used
F4August 15, 2007+2 weeksYes, 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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