India retrogression status
We have a few Indian clients who are asking whether their application will be off the retrogression list soon. Could you comment on this, please?
This is a great question. We have been tracking the Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases, as it relates to India, Vietnam, and China. All of them have been moving, but it appears like India is the only one that will most likely come off the retrogression tables this summer. As of June 2020 Visa Bulletin, the Final Action Date advanced to Jan 1, 2020. This essentially means that for those India-born clients who have filed before this date, there will be no retrogression.
I want to give some additional information here on retrogression. Retrogression is based on the country of birth and not on the country of citizenship. So, the good news for Indian citizens who are born outside of India, such as Europe, Canada, etc., is that there is no retrogression for them. However, the reverse is also true.
There is also the concept of cross-chargeability. For example, if the main investor is born in a country that is retrogressed, but their spouse is not, then they could apply through the spouse’s country of birth, thereby avoiding retrogression. This accommodation does not apply, however, for their children. In other words, they cannot cross-charge, against the country of birth of their children.
There is also some confusion between Chart A (Final Action Dates) and Chart B (Dates of Filing). I would like to clarify this here, as well. To determine when an applicant can get a green card, we use Chart A. Chart B can be used to apply for a green card. If the applicant has filed from overseas, such as India, they can use Chart B, to file for the green card, through consular processing. That said, their application will not be processed until they are current under Chart A. If the applicant is in the US, then instead of consular processing, they go through the process of “adjustment of status” to file for a green card. Each month, USCIS announces whether they will permit the applicants to use Chart B that month. For the last few months, USCIS has been allowing this for applicants who are currently residing in the US. This is significant for these clients because alongside the green card application through adjustment of status, these applicants can also file work authorization and travel permits. Because the applicants who reside overseas are not adjusting status, they do not have this benefit. They simply have to wait until they are current under Chart A to schedule an interview.
Much more can be said on this topic. We encourage clients to reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org with their specific questions.
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