LawFlash

US Department of State Releases July 2018 Visa Bulletin

June 20, 2018

Final Action dates for China and India EB-1 categories remain unchanged, while EB-2 India advances slightly.

The US Department of State has released its July 2018 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 July 2018 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 July. Historically, USCIS has required employment-based preference filings to use the Final Action Dates chart.

To be eligible to file an employment-based (EB) adjustment application in July 2018, 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

C

01JAN12

C

01JAN12

C

C

C

2nd

01JAN15 (was 01SEP14)

C

15MAR09 (was 26DEC08)

C

C

C

3rd

C

01JAN15 (was 01JUN15)

C

01NOV08 (was 01MAY08)

C

01JAN17

C

Other Workers

C

01MAY07

C

01NOV08 (was 01MAY08)

C

01JAN17

C

On the Application Final Action Dates chart, the cutoff dates for EB-1 for all chargeable countries except China and India, and the EB-2 cutoff dates for the rest of the world and the El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam allotment will remain “current.” The cutoff date for China and India EB-1 will remain at January 1, 2012. The EB-2 cutoff for China will advance by four months to January 1, 2015. The EB-2 cutoff for India will advance by four months to March 15, 2009.

The EB-3 cutoff dates for the worldwide allotment as well as for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico will remain “current.” The cutoff date for EB-3 China will retrogress by two-and-a-half years to January 1, 2013. The cutoff date for EB-3 India will advance by six months to November 1, 2008. The cutoff date for EB-3 Philippines will remain at January 1, 2017.

Note that for China, the EB-3 cutoff dates have retrogressed due to the high volume of EB-3 “downgrade” requests, as many applicants whose cases were previously filed under EB-2 requested that their cases be processed under EB-3. The State Department has indicated that the retrogression was necessary to keep the visa number use within the FY-2018 per-country limit.

Dates for Filing Visa Applications

EB

All Charge-
ability
Areas Except
Those Listed

China
(mainland
born)

India

Mexico

Philippines

1st

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

01APR15 (was 01FEB15)

22MAY09 (was 01APR09)

C

C

3rd

C

01JAN16

01MAY09 (was 01SEP08)

C

01JUL17

Other Workers

C

01JUN08

01MAY09 (was 01SEP08)

C

01JUL17



The Dates for Filing chart shows no advancement since last month. EB-1 will remain “current” for all chargeable countries, including India and China.

The EB-2 cutoff dates for the rest of the world and the El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Philippines allotment will also remain “current.” Cutoff dates for China EB-2 will advance to April 15, 2015. Cutoff dates for EB-2 India will advance to May 22, 2009.

Cutoff dates for EB-3 China will remain at January 1, 2016. Cutoff dates for China “other workers” will remain at June 1, 2008. Cutoff dates for EB-3 India and India “other workers” will advance to May 2009.

The State Department has indicated that due to the increase in the levels of demand for employment-based adjustment of status cases, a retrogression of some final action dates may be expected in coming months, and would last through the end of FY-2018.

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