LawFlash

US Department of State Releases October 2018 Visa Bulletin

September 14, 2018

In the October 2018 visa bulletin issued by the US Department of State, EB-1 remains backlogged for all countries of chargeability, and EB-2 and EB-3 are once again current for worldwide allotment.

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

To be eligible to file an employment-based (EB) adjustment application in October 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

01APR17 (was 01Jun16)

01JUN16 (was 01JAN12) 

01APR17 (was 01Jun16)

01JUN16 (was 01JAN12) 

01APR17 (was 01Jun16)

01APR17 (was 01Jun16)

01APR17 (was 01Jun16)

2nd

C (was 01JAN13)

01APR15 (was 01JAN13)

C (was 01JAN13) 

26MAR09 (was 01JAN07)

C (was 01JAN13) 

C (was 01JAN13) 

C (was 01JAN13) 

3rd

C (was 01NOV16)

01JUN15 (was 01Nov14)

C (was 01NOV16) 

01JAN09
(was 01JAN03)

C (was 01NOV16) 

01JUN17
(was 01NOV16) 

C (was 01NOV16)

Other Workers

C (was 01NOV16)

01MAY07

C (was 01NOV16)

01JAN09
(was 01JAN03

C (was 01NOV16

01JUN17
(was 01NOV16) 

C (was 01NOV16



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 18 months, to April 1, 2017. The cutoff date for China and India EB-1 will advance to June 1, 2016. The EB-2 cutoff for China will advance by nearly two years to April 1, 2015. The EB-2 cutoff for India will advance to March 26, 2009.

The EB-3 cutoff dates for the worldwide allotment as well as for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico will once again be “current.” The cutoff date for EB-3 China will advance by seven months to June 1, 2015. The cutoff date for EB-3 India will advance by six years to January 1, 2009. The cutoff date for EB-3 Philippines will advance by seven months to June 1, 2017.

Dates for Filing Visa Applications

EB

All Charge-
ability
Areas Except
Those Listed

China
(mainland
born)

India

Mexico

Philippines

1st

01JUN18 (was C) 

01OCT17
(was C)

01OCT17
(was C) 

01JUN18
(was C) 

01JUN18
(was C) 

2nd

C

15JUN15 (was 01APRL15)

22MAY09

C

C

3rd

C

08AUG15 (was 01JAN16)

01MAY09

C

01JUL17

Other Workers

C

01JUN08

01MAY09

C

01JUL17



The Dates for Filing chart shows some regression since last month. EB-1 will backlog by four months to June 1, 2018, for all chargeable countries, Mexico, and the Philippines. EB-1 will backlog by one year, 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 allotment will remain “current.” Cutoff dates for EB-2 China will advance to June 15, 2015. Cutoff dates for EB-2 India will remain at May 22, 2009. Cutoff dates for EB-3 China will backlog to August 8, 2015. Cutoff dates for China “other workers” will remain at June 1, 2008. Cutoff dates for EB-3 India and India “other workers” will remain at May 1, 2009.

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