The March Visa Bulletin is one of the most widely circulated monthly visa guides. It was first published in August and has been out long enough for most of us to have caught up with its contents. For most people, however, March comes as a surprise. There are a number of reasons for this, but whatever the reason, it has caused a lot of problems for travelers trying to get their hands on March visas. Here are some of them.
The initial March Visa Bulletin had the wrong final action dates. While it included detailed information on when to apply, it also listed the final date for departure and arrival for six countries: India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, and China. While everyone knows when these six countries will start their annual semesters, none of us were aware that they would start running their admissions by the end of March, and we're all still waiting for the official date. This should have been mentioned in the March Visa Bulletin, but it wasn't.
When the March Visa Bulletin came out, everyone was confused. There were dates set for major deadlines for submission of visa applications and for departure from the United Kingdom, and none of the dates had anything to do with the status of the UK immigration system. These two processes are entirely separate and are not affected by any change in the UK immigration system. As far as the status of the indefinite stay visa application process is concerned, March isn't going to affect it much either. That said, there are some dates which may affect the processing of other types of non-immigrant visa applications:
The first thing that any person reading the March Visa Bulletin needs to understand is that the system doesn't use a priority date. In fact, the system uses a set number of date from February which is used to determine the date that new visa applications need to be submitted. Each country has a different priority date, and visa applications must be submitted on or before that date in order to be approved. This is actually the second most important point in the whole set of February commitments, because the UK immigration system does rely on the ability of British citizens to leave and return to the country.
At the same time, the February 2021 visa bulletin also gives information about the implementation of the third phase of the Immigration Bill. The third phase is the “ework review” stage, and it begins on February 21st. Any work that the Home Office does on this date will be used to gauge the success rate of the initial introduced legislative changes. These results will be published alongside the final action dates chart. Every department is required to submit reports on their progress at these dates, and if they are unable to do so, then progress will be considered to be adversely affected.
The February visa changes don't just affect the United Kingdom's immigration system. The United States government also uses these charts as a means of indicating the progress of their green card application process. The United States government began publishing these graphs for their first wave of adjustment policy back in 2021. The original design of the graph is shown below. For every five hundred and twenty points on the graph, there will be a corresponding visa number use date and green card approval date.
As you can see, the two weeks schedule was adjusted based on the performance of the United Kingdom's work culture, as well as the requirements of the United Kingdom immigration system. The United States government released their own March visa bulletin, but compared to the United Kingdom, it seems that the United States was successful in terms of adjusting their policies. The United Kingdom released their own projections, but they seem to be too optimistic. In fact, the United Kingdom's March visa bulletin projects that over four thousand permanent residents will be moved forward into the United Kingdom in the two weeks period. This would make the United Kingdom the largest single source of immigrants in the last ten years.
When comparing the United Kingdom's March visa Bulletin to the United States government's own estimates, it appears to me that the United States was successful in terms of adjusting their laws, as well as their green card processing requirements. However, both countries share the same immigration system, so comparing their projections to each other would not be completely accurate. It looks like the United Kingdom underestimated how many people would enter the United Kingdom, while the United States underestimated their ability to adjust their requirements. Based on these two different estimates, the United Kingdom should experience a lot more immigration, while the United States will experience much less. Both countries will experience their respective populations increase at about the same rate, but the United Kingdom may experience slightly higher growth than the United States.
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