Priority cutoff dates for the EB-1 category for Chinese and Indian nationals will become current in October as new visa numbers become available at the start of the fiscal year – a significant advancement of more than five years for both categories, according to the State Department’s October Visa Bulletin. In other significant movements, the EB-2 category for all other countries besides China and India will also become current, advancing nearly two years.

Key movements in cutoff dates:

  • EB-1 categories for China and India will advance by five years and nine months to become current.
  • China EB-2 will advance by one week to May 22, 2013, while China EB-3 will advance by two years to Jan. 1, 2014.
  • India EB-2 will advance three weeks to Sept. 15, 2008, and India EB-3 will remain at Oct. 15, 2006.
  • The EB-2 category for all other countries besides China and India will all advance 21 months to become current.

Application Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases:

Preference China El Salvador Guatemala Honduras India Mexico Philippines All Other Countries
EB-1 Current Current Current Current Current Current
EB-2 May 22, 2013 Current Sept. 15, 2008 Current Current Current
EB-3 Jan. 1, 2014 Current Oct. 15, 2006 Current Dec. 15, 2015 Current

The State Department also released its Dates for Filing chart for October 2017. Applicants seeking to file for adjustment of status are reminded that the Dates for Filing chart does not take effect unless U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services confirms that it does via a web posting in the next week or so. BAL will update clients once the State Department confirms whether the Dates for Filing chart can be used in October.

BAL Analysis: The advancements are consistent with the availability of new visa numbers for fiscal year 2018. The forecast for upcoming months is that the EB-1 category is expected to remain current, but that a cutoff date for China and India is likely to be imposed by mid-2018. In upcoming months, China EB-2 should continue to advance moderately by up to four weeks, but China EB-3 will advance significantly up to four months, which may give some applicants an incentive to file a petition to downgrade from EB-2 to EB-3. India EB-2 is expected to continue to advance by up to three weeks, but EB-3 will see limited forward movement in coming months.