Employment-Based Immigration Updates: The October Visa Bulletin and Public Charge Rule

On September 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued the highly anticipated October Visa Bulletin. October 1, 2020, marks the beginning of the U.S. government’s new fiscal year. Each year, there is a fixed number of immigrant visas available for employment-based and family-based categories. When the new fiscal year starts on October 1, a new supply of immigrant visas becomes available. Any unused family-based numbers from the prior fiscal year can be added to the employment-based visa allocations (and vice versa). This past year, family-based numbers were exceptionally low. The pandemic constrained consular operations and Presidential Proclamation 10014 suspended the issuance of immigrant visas, with limited exceptions. The DOS announced that it anticipates the FY 2021 employment-based visa numbers will hit an all-time high of 261,500.

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