December 18, 2018

December 18, 2018

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December 17, 2018

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US Department of State Releases April 2018 Visa Bulletin

Final Action dates for China and India EB-1 categories will retrogress, while EB-2 China and EB-3 India will advance.

The US Department of State has released its April 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 April 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 April, and has stated that it expects to provide this information within a week.

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

January 1, 2012 (was C)

C

January 1, 2012 (was C)

C

C

2nd

01AUG14 (was 08DEC13)

C

22DEC08 (was 15DEC08) 

C

C

3rd

C

01JUN15 (was 15NOV14) 

C

01FEB08 (was 01JAN07)

C

01JAN17 (was 01MAY16)

Other Workers

C

01APR07 (was 01MAR07)

C

01FEB08 (was 01JAN07)

C

01JAN17 (was 01MAY16)

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, and Philippines allotment will remain “current.”Due to very high demand in the Outstanding Researchers and Professors categories, a cutoff date of January 1, 2012 will be imposed for EB-1 China and India. These allotments will retrogress by more than six years, to January 1, 2012. Should demand for employment based EB-1 numbers decline, there could be some movement prior to the end of the fiscal year. The EB-2 cutoff for China will advance by nine months to August 1, 2014. Cutoff dates for EB-2 India will move forward one week to December 22, 2008. Nationals of China and India who qualify for the EB-1 category should attempt to file their adjustment of status applications before April 1.

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 advance by six–and-a-half months to June 1, 2015, and the cutoff date for EB-3 India will advance by thirteen months to February 1, 2008. The cutoff date for EB-3 Philippines will advance by eight months to January 1, 2017.

Note that for China, the EB-3 cutoff dates continue to be significantly ahead of the EB-2 cutoff dates (June 1, 2015 vs August 1, 2014).

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

01FEB15

08FEB09

C

C

3rd

C

01JAN16

01APR08 (was 01JAN08)

C

01JUL17 (was 01OCT16)

Other Workers

C

01JUN08

01APR08 (was 01JAN08

C

01JUL17 (was 01OCT16)

The Dates for Filing chart shows advancement for India and the Philippines cutoff dates only. Cutoff dates for EB-3 India and India “other workers” will advance by three months to April 1, 2008. Cutoff dates for EB-3 Philippines and Philippines “other workers” will advance by nine months to July 1, 2017.

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 EB-2 India will remain at February 8, 2009, and for China “other workers” the cutoff dates will remain at June 1, 2008.

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

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Eric Bord, Immigration Attorney, Morgan Lewis
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Eric S. Bord counsels clients on corporate immigration issues involving the recruitment, hiring, transfer, and retention of personnel worldwide. He also advises businesses on compliance and risk management in connection with their global immigration programs. This includes counseling on compliance with I-9 and E-Verify rules, advising clients during immigration investigations, and conducting immigration due diligence for corporate transactions. Eric heads Morgan Lewis’s immigration compliance and risk management practice.

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A recognized leader in immigration and nationality law, Eleanor Pelta counsels clients on legal and strategic issues arising from the international movement of key personnel, from the individual transfer of high-ranking executives to high-volume transfers of expert staff. Her experience includes the use of blanket visa programs and the qualification of companies as “treaty investor” or “treaty trader” entities. Additionally, Eleanor counsels businesses on the immigration implications of corporate changes, such as mergers, acquisitions, downsizings, reductions in force, and salary-level changes.

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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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