February Visa Bulletin: Limited movement in employment-based categories

17 Jan 20

UNITED STATES

Priority-date cutoffs will see minimal or no advancement in most employment-based categories next month, according to the Final Action Dates published Friday in the State Department’s February Visa Bulletin.

Key movements in the February Visa Bulletin:

EB-1

  • China EB-1 will remain at May 22, 2017.
  • India EB-1 will remain at Jan. 1, 2015.
  • All other countries under EB-1 will advance two months to Dec. 1, 2018.

EB-2

  • China EB-2 will advance two weeks to July 15, 2015.
  • India EB-2 will advance one day to May 19, 2009.
  • All other countries under EB-2 will remain current.

EB-3

  • China EB-3 will advance one month to Jan. 1, 2016.
  • India EB-3 will advance one week to Jan. 8, 2009.
  • Philippines EB-3 will advance 2 ½ months to June 1, 2018.
  • All other EB-3 countries will remain current.

Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases:

Preference All Other Countries China El Salvador Guatemala Honduras India Mexico Philippines Vietnam
EB-1 Dec. 1, 2018 May 22, 2017 Dec. 1, 2018 Jan. 1, 2015 Dec. 1, 2018 Dec. 1, 2018 Dec. 1, 2018
EB-2 Current July 15, 2015 Current May 19, 2009 Current Current Current
EB-3 Current Jan. 1, 2016 Current Jan. 8, 2009 Current June 1, 2018 Current

The State Department also released its Dates for Filing chart for February. 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 via a web posting in the coming days. BAL will update clients once officials confirm whether the chart can be used in January.

Dates for Filing for Employment-Based Preference Cases:

Preference All Other Countries China El Salvador Guatemala Honduras India Mexico Philippines
EB-1 Current Oct. 1, 2017 Current March 15, 2017 Current Current
EB-2 Current Aug. 1, 2016 Current July 1, 2009 Current Current
EB-3 Jan. 1, 2019 March 1, 2017 Jan. 1, 2019 Feb. 1, 2010 Jan. 1, 2019 Jan. 1, 2019

Additional notes: The Visa Bulletin said that because of consistently high demand this fiscal year EB-3 Worldwide could retrogress in March if there is not “a sudden and dramatic decrease” in demand. In EB-1, the trend seems to be moving in the opposite direction—at least for countries other than China and India. Last month, the State Department’s Charlie Oppenheim told the American Immigration Lawyers Association that EB-1 demand for all countries other than China and India has tapered off in recent months and that these categories could potentially become current by the summer.

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

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