EB-1 to retrogress for most categories; EB-3 China to advance by one year.

The US Department of State has released its August 2018 Visa Bulletin setting out per-country priority date cutoffs that regulate immigrant visa availability and the flow of status adjustments and consular immigrant visa application filings and approvals.

What Does the August 2018 Visa Bulletin Say?

The bulletin includes both a Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart and an Application Final Action Dates chart. The former indicates when intending immigrants may file their applications for adjustments of status or immigrant visas, and the latter indicates when adjustment of status applications or immigrant visa applications may be approved and permanent residence granted. Unless otherwise indicated on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website, individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status with USCIS must use the Application Final Action Dates chart below. USCIS has not yet indicated which set of cutoff dates will control in August. Historically, USCIS has required employment-based preference filings to use the Final Action Dates chart.

To be eligible to file an employment-based (EB) adjustment application in August 2018, a foreign national must have a priority date that is earlier than the date listed below for his or her preference category and country.

Application Final Action Dates

On the Application Final Action Dates chart, the cutoff dates for EB-1 for all chargeable countries, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam will retrogress by over two years to May 1, 2016. The cutoff date for China and India EB-1 will remain at January 1, 2012. The EB-2 cutoff for China will advance by two months to March 1, 2015.

The EB-3 cutoff dates for the worldwide allotment as well as for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico will remain “current.” The cutoff date for EB-3 China will advance by one-and–a-half years to July 1, 2014. This category had previously retrogressed in July. The cutoff date for EB-3 India will advance by two months to January 1, 2009. The cutoff date for EB-3 Philippines will advance by five months to June 1, 2017.

Dates for Filing Visa Applications

EB

All Charge- ability Areas Except Those Listed

China (mainland born)

India

Mexico

Philippines

1st

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

01APR15

22MAY09

C

C

3rd

C

01JAN16

01MAY09

C

01JUL17

Other Workers

C

01JUN08

01MAY09

C

01JUL17

The Dates for Filing chart shows no change since last month. EB-1 will remain “current” for all chargeable countries, including India and China. The EB-2 cutoff dates for the rest of the world and the El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Philippines allotment will also remain “current.” Cutoff dates for China EB-2 will remain at April 15, 2015. Cutoff dates for EB-2 India will remain at May 22, 2009. Cutoff dates for EB-3 China will remain at January 1, 2016. Cutoff dates for China “other workers” will remain at June 1, 2008. Cutoff dates for EB-3 India and India “other workers” will remain at May 1, 2009.

The State Department has indicated that there continues to be an extremely high rate of demand for EB-1 numbers in employment-based adjustment of status cases, and that a retrogression of some final action dates has been implemented. It is anticipated that this will be temporary, lasting through the end of FY 2018.