Department of State March 2019 Visa Bulletin Summary

The Department of State has released the March 2019 Visa Bulletin. D&S provides a Monthly Summary of the employment-based priority dates.

With respect to Final Action Dates, EB-1 China and EB-1 India progressed by two weeks to February 22, 2017. All other EB-1 categories progressed by 1 month to January 1, 2018. EB-2 China progressed by 3 months to January 01, 2016 and EB-2 India progressed by only 3 days to April 9, 2009. All other EB-2 chargeability areas remain current. EB-3 Philippines progressed by 4 months to December 1, 2017. EB-3 India and EB-3 China progressed to May 22, 2009 and July 08, 2015 respectively. All other EB-3 areas of chargeability remain current. EB-5 Regional Center is currently unavailable. EB-5 Regional Center final action dates are current with the exception of China and Vietnam, which remain backlogged at September 8, 2014 and July 15, 2016 respectively.

Application filing dates for EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 workers across all areas of chargeability remain unchanged, except for EB-2 China which progressed by 6 months to May 01, 2016 and EB-3 Philippines which progressed by 5 months to March 01, 2018. Application filing dates for EB-5 Regional Center and Non-Regional Center remain current with the exception of China, which remains backlogged at October 1, 2014.

As of today, February 15, 2019, USCIS has advised that in March 2019 it will accept adjustment of status applications for employment-based petitions based on final action dates and family-based petitions based on application filing dates.

Department of State August 2018 Visa Bulletin Summary

The Department of State has released the August 2018 Visa Bulletin.  D&S provides a Monthly Summary of the family and employment-based priority dates.  

The EB-1 category has retrogressed by more than two years to May 1, 2016 for all areas of chargeability with the exception of EB-1 China and EB-1 India, which remain unchanged. EB-2 China has progressed by 2 months to March 1, 2015. EB-3 China has progressed by 1.5 years to July 1, 2014, while EB-3 India and Other Workers India have progressed by 2 months to January 1, 2009. EB-4 India and Certain Religious Workers India have retrogressed by just under 2 years to February 8, 2016. All other categories remain unchanged across all areas of chargeability.

Application Filing Dates remain unchanged across all areas of chargeability for August 2018.

As of today, July 13, 2018, USCIS has not advised whether, in August 2018, it will accept adjustment of status applications for family and employment-based petitions based on final action dates or application filing dates.

 

Department of State August 2017 Visa Bulletin Summary

The Department of State has released the August 2017 Visa Bulletin.  D&S provides a Monthly Summary of the family and employment-based priority dates.  

With respect to Final Action Dates, there is significant retrogression in the EB-2 worldwide category to April 1, 2015.    EB-1 China and EB-1 India remain unchanged at January 1, 2012. EB-2 China progressed by one month to April 22, 2013 and EB-3 China remains unchanged at January 1, 2012.  EB-2 India remains unchanged at July 22, 2008 and EB-3 India progressed by five months to July 15, 2006.  EB-3 worldwide is current. EB-2 Mexico and Philippines have retrogressed to April 1, 2015 and EB-3 Mexico is now current.  EB-3 Philippines has progressed one year to June 1, 2015.

EB-5 for both regional centers and non-regional centers remains current, with the exception of China, which has progressed by one week to June 15, 2014.

Application Filing Dates for EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Worldwide are current.  Additionally, Application Filing Dates for China remain unchanged in both the EB-2 and EB-3 categories with EB-2 China at October 1, 2013 and EB-3 China at September 1, 2015.  Similarly, Application Filing Dates for India in the EB-2 category remains unchanged at February 1, 2009.  The EB-3 India category progressed by three months to January 1, 2007.  Application Filing Dates for EB-3 Philippines progressed by six months to January 1, 2016.  Application Filing Dates for EB-5 China remain unchanged at September 1, 2014.

USCIS has announced that both family-based and employment-based adjustment of status applicants must use the Final Action Dates chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for August 2017.

Department of Homeland Security and Department of State Issue Joint Statement Regarding Changes to Visa Waiver Program and Customs and Border Protection Issues Updated FAQs

As part of the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Congress enacted certain changes to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) in legislation entitled the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, which restrict use of the program by dual nationals of a VWP country who are also nationals of Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Sudan or VWP national who have traveled to those countries at any time on or after March 1, 2011.  Under the new rule, such individuals are unable to use VWP and must apply for a B1/B2 visitor visa before traveling to the United States as a visitor.  On January 21, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS) released a Joint Statement (LINK PDF) discussing these new changes.  Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has also issued updated FAQs addressing how the new legislation will impact admission of individuals who fall under the VWP restriction. 

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Updated Instructions for Using the Revised Visa Bulletin

USCIS issued updated instructions for utilizing the new Visa Bulletin System which are a departure from the original process. Beginning with the November 2015 Visa Bulletin, applicants can only use the "Filing Dates" to determine whether they are able to file their adjustment of status applications if USCIS specifically indicates this option is available for that month. Unless otherwise stated, the "Final Action" dates will control. 

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Department of State November 2015 Visa Bulletin Summary

The Department of State released the November 2015 Visa Bulletin today.  D&S provides a Monthly Summary of the family and employment based priority dates.  This month, the Filing dates for China and India remained unchanged for both the EB-2 and EB-3 preference categories. The Final Action dates for EB-2 India progressed a little over a year to August 1, 2006, and EB-3 India progressed just under one month to April 1, 2004. EB-2 China had a modest progression of one month to February 1, 2012 and EB-3 China progressed approximately 2.5 months to January 1, 2012.  Finally, the EB-5 China Filing date held steady at May 1, 2015 and the Final Action date progressed a little over one month to November 22, 2013.

The release of the November 2015 Visa Bulletin is further confirmation that the original October 2015 Visa Bulletin (originally released on September 9, 2015) which was superseded by an updated version (released on September 25, 2015) will not be restored at this time, despite the pending federal class action lawsuit filed against the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State. While the underlying lawsuit remains pending, earlier this week the U.S. District court denied the plaintiff's request for a temporary restraining order which would have forced the government to revert to the original version of the October 2015 Visa Bulletin. 

D&S will continue to monitor this and post updates as they become available.

USCIS & DOS Announce Revised Procedures for Determining Visa Availability with Release of October 2015 Visa Bulletin

U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State (DOS) have formally announced that the agencies will be revising their procedures for determining visa availability for applicants waiting to file for employment-based or family-based applications for permanent residence (“green card”).  This announcement comes in conjunction with DOS’s release of the October 2015 Visa Bulletin.  

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