Final Action dates for China and India EB-1 categories remain unchanged, while EB-2 China and EB-3 India cutoff dates will advance.

The US Department of State has released its May 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 May 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 May. 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 May 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. (Changes from last month’s Visa Bulletin are shown in yellow.)

Application Final Action Dates

On the Application Final Action Dates chart, Vietnam has been added. The cutoff dates for EB-1 for all chargeable countries except China and India, and the EB-2 cutoff dates for the rest of the world and the El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam allotment will remain “current.” The cutoff date for China and India EB-1 will remain at January 1, 2012. The EB-2 cutoff for China will advance by one month to September 1, 2014. Cutoff dates for EB-2 India will remain at December 22, 2008.

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 remain at June 1, 2015, and the cutoff date for EB-3 India will advance by three months to May 1, 2008. The cutoff date for EB-3 Philippines will remain at January 1, 2017.

Note that for China, the EB-3 cutoff dates continue to be significantly ahead of the EB-2 cutoff dates (June 1, 2015 vs. September 1, 2014).

Dates for Filing Visa Applications

The Dates for Filing chart shows advancement for India cutoff dates only. 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 EB-2 India will advance by two-and-a-half-months to April 1, 2009. Cutoff dates for China EB-2 will remain at February 1, 2015.

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 advance by five months to September 1, 2008. Cutoff dates for EB-3 Philippines and Philippines “other workers” will remain at July 1, 2017.