August Visa Bulletin: Significant retrogression as end of fiscal year nears

11 Jul 19

UNITED STATES

Priority cutoff dates will retrogress significantly in most employment-based categories next month, according to the Final Action Dates published Thursday in the August Visa Bulletin.

Key movements:

EB-1

  • China EB-1 will retrogress by more than 10 months to July 1, 2016.
  • India EB-1 will remain at Jan. 1, 2015 after retrogressing by more than two years in the June Visa Bulletin.
  • All other EB-1 categories will retrogress by almost two years to July 1, 2016.

EB-2

  • China EB-2 will advance two months to Jan. 1, 2017.
  • India EB-2 will advance eight days to May 2, 2009.
  • All other EB-2 categories will have a priority cutoff date of Jan. 1, 2017. Previously, these categories were current.

EB-3

  • China EB-3 will advance six months to July 1, 2016.
  • India EB-3 will retrogress by 2½ years to Jan. 1, 2006.
  • All other EB-3 categories will have a priority cutoff date of July 1, 2016. Previously, these categories were current.

Additional notes: The EB-4 category for religious workers (other than ministers) and the EB-5 Regional Center (I5 and R5) Immigrant Investor Program will be funded through the remainder of the fiscal year under the budget bill President Donald Trump signed in February. The EB-4 category will remain current in August for all categories except El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and Mexico, both of which will be subject to a July 1, 2016 final action date. In the EB-5 category, final action dates will remain current in August for all categories except China I5 and R5, India I5 and R5 and Vietnam I5 and R5. These categories will have a final action date of Oct. 15, 2014.

Application Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases:

Category China El Salvador Guatemala Honduras India Mexico Philippines Vietnam All Other Countries
EB-1 July 1, 2016 July 1, 2016 Jan. 1, 2015 July 1, 2016 July 1, 2016 July 1, 2016 July 1, 2016
EB-2 Jan. 1, 2017 Jan. 1, 2017 May 2, 2009 Jan. 1, 2017 Jan. 1, 2017 Jan. 1, 2017 Jan. 1, 2017
EB-3 July 1, 2016 July 1, 2016 Jan. 1, 2006 July 1, 2016 July 1, 2016 July 1, 2016 July 1, 2016

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

BAL Analysis: The retrogression is likely temporary, with many categories that are were previously current expected to become current again at the beginning of the next fiscal year on Oct. 1.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@balglobal.com.

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