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Fiscal year 2021 – October could be significant
The new fiscal year for Immigrant Visas will start on October 1, 2020. Several important developments suggest that the October Visa Bulletin will indicate a huge shift in Immigrant visa allocation. Due to the current global pandemic and its impact on embassy function, as well as additional limitations on immigrant visa issuance, there is expected to be a significant amount of unused family-based immigrant visas from the previous fiscal year. Under the INA those unused family immigrant visa numbers will be applied to the employment categories in fiscal year 2021. Individuals with backlogged employment-based priority dates should pay close attention in the next few days as the October Visa Bulletin goes live.
USCIS Fee Increases go live October 2, 2020
New fee increases published by the USCIS August 3, 2020 are set to go into effect on October 2. There is a general fee increase of approximately 20%, with certain categories seeing much larger increases. Certain fee exemptions have also been removed. Notable changes include the following: The frequently used Form I-129 for employment based nonimmigrant visas is being split into several different forms with a variety of fee changes; Adjustment of Status Applications fees will no longer include the Employment Authorization and Travel Document fees, thus increasing the application cost for an adult applicant to $2,270 from $1,225; Employment Authorization Form I-765 will increase to $550; The form N400 Application for Naturalization will increase to from $640 to $1,170.
United States Land Border Closure Extended
The Department of Homeland Security has extended the closure of the United States land borders to limit all non-essential travel. The current closure will be in place for 30 days until October 21, 2020. It is likely that the closure will be extended next month as well.