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Department of State Releases October 2017 Visa Bulletin

EB-1 China and India once again become “current” as does EB-2 Worldwide.

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

The October 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. Unless otherwise indicated on the 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.

To be eligible to file an employment-based (EB) adjustment application in October 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 (changes from last month’s Visa Bulletin are shown in yellow).

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

C (was 01JAN12 )

C

C (was 01JAN12)

C

C

2nd

C (was 01JAN16) 

22MAY13 (was 15MAY13)

C (was 01JAN16)

15SEP08 (was 22AUG08)

C (was 01JAN16)

C (was 01JAN16)

3rd

C

01JAN14 (was 01JAN12)

C

15OCT06

C

01DEC 15 (was 01NOV15)

Other Workers

C

01JAN06 (was 01JAN04)

C

15OCT06

C

01DEC15 (was 01NOV15)

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

15NOV13 (was 01OCT13

08FEB09 (was 01FEB09)

C

C

3rd

C

01SEP15

01JAN08 (was 01JAN07)

C

01AUG16 (was 01JAN16)

Other Workers

C

01JUN08

01JAN08 (was 01JAN07)

C

01AUG16 (was 01JAN16)

On the Application Final Action Dates chart, the cutoff dates for EB-1 will once again be “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 are also “current” again. The EB-2 cutoff for China advanced one week to May 22, 2013. Cutoff dates for EB-2 India moved forward three weeks to September 15, 2008.

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 advance by two years to January 1, 2014, and the cutoff date for EB-3 India will remain at October 15, 2006. The cutoff date for EB-3 Philippines will advance to December 1, 2015.

On the Dates for Filing chart, the cutoff dates for EB-1 will be “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 advance by six weeks to November 15, 2013. Cutoff dates for EB-2 India will advance by one week to February 8, 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 to January 1, 2008. Finally, cutoff dates for EB-3 Philippines will advance by seven months to August 1, 2016.

Additionally, as discussed in our previous post, USCIS will now require personal interviews of all employment-based adjustment of status (AOS) applications, following a phase-in period, commencing October 1, 2017. We anticipate that the interview requirement will slow down the processing of AOS applications considerably.

Read the October 2017 Visa Bulletin.

Copyright © 2018 by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. All Rights Reserved.

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About this Author

A James Vazquez-Azpiri, Morgan Lewis, employment attorney
Partner

A. James Vázquez-Azpiri counsels corporate clients on hiring and retaining foreign employees in his business immigration law practice. He advises businesses on labor certifications, specialty occupation petitions, and intracompany transfers. Clients rely on James for guidance through immigration law compliance during mergers, acquisitions, and corporate restructurings. He helps clients think and work proactively by providing them with traditional compliance policy reviews and audits, case management and litigation technology, and international executive travel and...

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