February 18, 2018

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US Department of State Releases February 2018 Visa Bulletin

The cutoff dates for China EB-3 show significant advancement.

The US Department of State has released its February 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 February 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 February.

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

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

01OCT13 (was08AUG13)

C

08DEC08
(was 22NOV08) 

C

C

3rd

C

15SEP14 was 1514) 

C

01DEC06
(was 01NOV06)

C

01MAR16
(was 15FEB16)

Other Workers

C

01FEB07
(was 22DEC06)

C

01DEC06
(was 01NOV06)

C

01MAR16
(was 15FEB16)

On the Application Final Action Dates chart, the cutoff dates for EB-1 for all chargeable countries, including India and China, 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.” The EB-2 cutoff for China will advance by six weeks to October 1, 2013. Cutoff dates for EB-2 India will move forward three weeks to December 8, 2008.

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 months to September 15, 2014, and the cutoff date for EB-3 India will advance by one month to December 1, 2006. The cutoff date for EB-3 Philippines will advance by two weeks to March 1, 2016.

Note that for China, the EB-3 cutoff dates continue to be significantly ahead of the EB-2 cutoff dates (September 15, 2014 vs. October 1, 2013).

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 15NOV13)

08FEB09

C

C

3rd

C

01JAN16
(was 01SEP15)

01JAN08

C

01AUG16

Other Workers

C

01JUN08

01JAN08

C

01AUG16

The Dates for Filing chart shows advancement for China cutoff dates only. Cutoff dates for EB-2 China will advance by one year to November 15, 2014. Cutoff dates for EB-3 China will advance by four months to January 1, 2016.

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 “other workers” the cutoff dates will remain at June 1, 2008. Cutoff dates for EB-3 India will remain at January 1, 2008. Finally, cutoff dates for EB-3 Philippines will remain at August 1, 2016.

Copyright © 2018 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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