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

15 Aug 19

UNITED STATES

Priority cutoff dates will retrogress significantly in key employment-based categories, according to the Final Action Dates chart published Thursday in the State Department’s September Visa Bulletin.

New cutoff dates in China EB-1, China EB-3, and India EB-3, all of which retrogressed, will take effect immediately. Visas in the India EB-1 category are unavailable for the remainder of the fiscal year. And India EB-2 will remain ahead of India EB-3 in September for the second straight month.

Key movements:

EB-1

  • China EB-1 will retrogress by 2 ½ years to Jan. 1, 2014.
  • India EB-1 will be unavailable for the remainder of the fiscal year.
  • All other EB-1 categories will advance by one year and three months to Oct. 1, 2017. The advancement comes after these categories retrogressed significantly in the August Visa Bulletin.

EB-2

  • China EB-2 will remain at Jan. 1, 2017.
  • India EB-2 will advance six days to May 8, 2009.
  • All other EB-2 categories will advance by one year to Jan. 1, 2018, after retrogressing in the August Visa Bulletin.

EB-3

  • China EB-3 will retrogress by 2 ½ years to Jan. 1, 2014.
  • India EB-3 will retrogress by six months to July 1, 2005.
  • All other EB-3 categories will remain at July 1, 2016, after retrogressing in the August Visa Bulletin.

Additional notes: Visas will be unavailable in the EB-4 category for religious workers (other than ministers). EB-5 categories will remain current for all countries other than China, India and Vietnam. China I5 and R5 and Vietnam I5 and R5 will have a final action date of Oct. 22, 2014. India I5 and R5 will have a final action date of Sept. 17, 2017.

Application Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases:

Category China El Salvador Guatemala Honduras India Mexico Philippines Vietnam All Other Countries
EB-1 Jan. 1, 2014 Oct. 1, 2017 U Oct. 1, 2017 Oct. 1, 2017 Oct. 1, 2017 Oct. 1, 2017
EB-2 Jan. 1, 2017 Jan. 1, 2018 May 8, 2009 Jan. 1, 2018 Jan. 1, 2018 Jan. 1, 2018 Jan. 1, 2018
EB-3 Jan. 1, 2014 July 1, 2016 July 1, 2005 July 1, 2016 July 1, 2016 July 1, 2016 July 1, 2016

The State Department also released its Dates for Filing chart for September. Applicants 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 coming days.

BAL Analysis: The State Department cited high demand for the retrogression in employment-based categories, and said “it is likely” that additional “corrective action will also be required” before the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. The retrogression is most likely temporary, however. The State Department said that “every effort will be made to return these final action dates to (at least) the dates which had originally been announced for August.”

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

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