March Visa Bulletin: Retrogression in most EB-3 categories, modest advancement in EB-1, EB-2

18 Feb 20

UNITED STATES

Priority-date cutoffs will retrogress in all EB-3 categories except for India and China, according to the Final Action Dates published Tuesday in the State Department’s March Visa Bulletin. Date cutoffs in other categories will see modest advancement.

Key movements in the March Visa Bulletin:

EB-1

  • China EB-1 will advance eight days to June 1, 2017.
  • India EB-1 will advance two months to March 1, 2015.
  • All other countries under EB-1 will advance three months to March 1, 2019.

EB-2

  • China EB-2 will advance one month to Aug. 15, 2015
  • India EB-2 will advance three days to May 22, 2009.
  • All other countries under EB-2 will remain current.

EB-3

  • China EB-3 will advance almost three months to March 22, 2016.
  • India EB-3 will advance one week to Jan. 15, 2009.
  • Philippines EB-3 will retrogress one year and five months to Jan. 1, 2017.
  • All other countries in the EB-3 category will have a date cutoff of Jan. 1, 2017 after being current in this month’s Visa Bulletin.

Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases:

Preference All Other Countries China El Salvador Guatemala Honduras India Mexico Philippines Vietnam
EB-1 March 1, 2019 June 1, 2017 March 1, 2019 March 1, 2015 March 1, 2019 March 1, 2019 March 1, 2019
EB-2 Current Aug. 15, 2015 Current May 22, 2009 Current Current Current
EB-3 Jan. 1, 2017 March 22, 2016 Jan. 1, 2017 Jan. 15, 2009 Jan. 1, 2017 Jan. 1, 2017 Jan. 1, 2017

The State Department also released its Dates for Filing chart for March. 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. The State Department’s Charlie Oppenheim has indicated that Final Action Dates will likely be used on the EB-3 Worldwide and EB-3 Other Workers Worldwide starting in March.

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 EB-3 categories retrogressed after the February Visa Bulletin predicted they would unless there was “a sudden and dramatic decrease” in demand. This month’s bulletin says that the Jan. 1, 2017 cutoff date was imposed in order to keep the number of visas within the maximum allowed for the current fiscal year. The bulletin said that, “No forward movement of this date is expected in the foreseeable future.”

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

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