LawFlash

US Department of State Releases January 2019 Visa Bulletin

December 17, 2018

In the January 2019 visa bulletin issued by the US Department of State, EB-1 remains backlogged for all country allotments, advancing by only two-and-a-half to three months.

The US Department of State has released its January 2019 Visa Bulletin, setting out per-country priority date cutoffs that regulate immigrant visa availability and the flow of status adjustments and consular immigrant visa application filings and approvals.

What Does the January 2019 Visa Bulletin Say?

The bulletin includes both a Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart and an Application Final Action Dates chart. The former indicates when intending immigrants may file their applications for adjustments of status or immigrant visas, and the latter indicates when adjustment of status applications or immigrant visa applications may be approved and permanent residence granted. Unless otherwise indicated on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website, individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status with USCIS must use the Application Final Action Dates chart below. USCIS has not yet indicated which set of cutoff dates will control in January. In January 2019, USCIS requires employment-based preference filings to use the Dates for Filing chart selected.

To be eligible to receive approval of a pending employment-based (EB) adjustment application in January 2019, a foreign national must have a priority date that is earlier than the date listed below for his or her preference category and country.

Application Final Action Dates

EB

All Charge-
ability
Areas Except
Those Listed

China
(mainland
born)

El Salvador,
Guatemala,
and Honduras

India

Mexico

Philippines

Vietnam

1st

01OCT17 (was 01JUL17)

15DEC16 (was 01SEP16)

01OCT17 (was 01JUL17)

15DEC16 (was 01SEP16) 

01OCT17 (was 01JUL17)

01OCT17 (was 01JUL17)

01OCT17 (was 01JUL17)

2nd

C

01AUG15 (was 01JUL15)

C

01APR09

C

C

C

3rd

C

08JUN15

C

01MAR09

C

22JUN17
(was 15JUN17)

C

Other Workers

C

01JUL07

C

01MAR09

C

22JUN17
(was 15JUN17) 

C



On the Application Final Action Dates chart, the cutoff dates for EB-1 for all chargeable countries, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam will advance slightly, but will remain backlogged by 15 months, to October 1, 2017. The cutoff dates for these countries will remain “current” for EB-2. The cutoff date for China and India EB-1 will advance to December 15, 2016. The EB-2 cutoff for China will advance two months to August 1, 2015. The EB-2 cutoff for India will remain at April 1, 2009.

The EB-3 cutoff dates for the worldwide allotment as well as for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Vietnam will remain “current.” The cutoff date for EB-3 China will remain at June 8, 2015. The cutoff date for EB-3 India will remain at March 1, 2009. The cutoff date for EB-3 Philippines will advance by one week to June 22, 2017.

To be eligible to file an employment-based (EB) adjustment application in January 2019, a foreign national must have a priority date that is earlier than the date listed below for his or her preference category and country.

Dates for Filing Visa Applications

EB

All Charge-
ability
Areas Except
Those Listed

China
(mainland
born)

India

Mexico

Philippines

1st

01JUN18

01OCT17

01OCT17

01JUN18

01JUN18

2nd

C

08SEP15

22MAY09

C

C

3rd

C

01JAN16 (was 01DEC15)

01APR10 (was 01JAN10)

C

01AUG17

Other Workers

C

01JUN08

01APR10 (was 01JAN10)

C

01AUG17



The Dates for Filing chart shows little change since last month. EB-1 remains backlogged to June 1, 2018, for all chargeable countries, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines. EB-1 remains backlogged by 15 months to October 1, 2017, for India and China. The EB-2 cutoff dates for the rest of the world and the El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Philippines allotments will remain “current.” Cutoff dates for EB-2 China will remain at September 8, 2015. Cutoff dates for EB-2 India will remain at May 22, 2009. Cutoff dates for EB-3 China will advance by one month to January 1, 2016. Cutoff dates for China “other workers” will remain at June 1, 2008. Cutoff dates for all chargeable countries, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines will remain “current.” Cutoff dates for EB-3 India and India “other workers” will advance by three months to April 1, 2010.

Contacts

If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this alert, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:

Washington, DC
Eleanor Pelta
Eric S. Bord

San Francisco
A. James Vázquez-Azpiri