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Department of State Releases August 2017 Visa Bulletin

EB-2 Worldwide to retrogress; EB-3 Worldwide is “current.”

The US Department of State has released its August 2017 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 August 2017 Visa Bulletin Say?

The August 2017 Visa 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.

If US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines that there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, it will state on its website that applicants may use the Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart. Otherwise, applicants should use the Application Final Action Dates chart to determine when they may file their adjustment of status applications. It is anticipated that USCIS will use the Final Action Dates Chart in accepting applications for adjustment of status in August 2017. 

To be eligible to file an employment-based (EB) adjustment application in August 2017, 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

1st

C

01JAN12 

C

01JAN12 

C

C

2nd

01APR15 (was “C”)

22APR13 (was 22MAR13)

01APR15 (was “C”)

22JUL08 

01APR15 (was “C”)

01APR15 (was “C”)

3rd

C (was 08JUN17

01JAN12

C (was 08JUN17) 

15JUL06 (was 15FEB06)

C (was 08JUN17)

01JUN15 (was 15MAY14)

Other Workers

C (was 08JUN17)

01JAN04

(was 15JUL06)

C (was 08JUN17) 

15JUL06 (was 15FEB06)

C (was 08JUN17)

01JUN15 (was 15MAY14)

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

01OCT13

01FEB09

C

C

3rd

C

01SEP15

01JAN07 (was 22APR06)

C

01JAN16

Other Workers

C

01JUN08

01JAN07 (was 22APR06)

C

01JAN16

On the Application Final Action Dates chart, the cutoff dates for EB-1 will remain “current” for all chargeable countries except India and China. The cutoff date for these countries remains retrogressed to January 1, 2012. 

The EB-2 cutoff dates for the rest of the world, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines allotment has retrogressed to April 1, 2015 for the first time in several years. Individuals whose priority dates are “current” in the EB-2 classification in July should strive to file their applications for adjustment of status before the retrogression takes effect on August 1, 2017. It is anticipated that this retrogression will remain in place at least until the start of the new fiscal year in October 2017. 

The EB-2 cutoff for China advanced by a month to April 22, 2013. Cutoff dates for EB-2 India remain at January 1, 2012. 

The EB-3 cutoff dates for the worldwide allotment as well as for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico will be “current.” The cutoff date for EB-3 China will remain at January 1, 2012, and the cutoff date for EB-3 India will move to July 15, 2006. The cutoff date for EB-3 Philippines will advance by nearly a year to June 1, 2015.

On the Dates for Filing chart, the cutoff dates for EB-1 will remain “current” for all chargeable countries, including India and China. 

The EB-2 cutoff dates for the rest of the world, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines allotment will also remain “current.” Cutoff dates for EB-2 China will remain at October 1, 2013. Cutoff dates for EB-2 India also will remain at February 1, 2009.

Cutoff dates for EB-3 China will remain at September 1, 2015, and for “other workers,” the cutoff dates will remain at June 1, 2008. Cutoff dates for EB-3 India will advance by eight months and one week to January 1, 2007. Finally, cutoff dates for EB-3 Philippines will advance by six months, to January 1, 2016.

The State Department projected that EB-3 China will retrogress no later than August 2017. 

Read the August 2017 Visa Bulletin.

Copyright © 2017 by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. All Rights Reserved.

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About this Author

Partner

A. James Vázquez-Azpiri is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice. Mr. Vázquez-Azpiri focuses his practice on business immigration law, assisting corporate clients with hiring and retaining foreign employees with regard to labor certifications, specialty occupation petitions and intra-company transfers. Mr. Vázquez-Azpiri is also a leading expert on immigration law compliance in the context of mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructuring. Mr. Vázquez-Azpiri helps clients think and work proactively by providing them with traditional compliance...

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