September 24, 2018

September 24, 2018

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US Department of State Releases January 2018 Visa Bulletin

The cutoff dates for China and other workers show the biggest movement.

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

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

08AUG13 (was 01JUL13)

C

22NOV08 (was 01NOV08) 

C

C

3rd

C

15APR14 was 08MAR14) 

C

01NOV06 (was 15OCT06)

C

15FEB16 (was 15JAN16)

Other Workers

C

22DEC06 (was 01JULY06)

C

01NOV06 (was 15OCT06)

C

15FEB16 (was 15JAN16)

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

08FEB09

C

C

3rd

C

01SEP15

01JAN08

C

01AUG16

Other Workers

C

01JUN08

01JAN08

C

01AUG16

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, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines allotment will remain “current.” The EB-2 cutoff for China will advance by five weeks to August 8, 2013. Cutoff dates for EB-2 India will move forward three weeks to November 22, 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 five weeks to April 15, 2014, and the cutoff date for EB-3 India will advance by two weeks to November 1, 2006. The cutoff date for EB-3 Philippines will advance by one month to February 15, 2016.

Note that for China, the EB-3 cutoff dates continue to be ahead of the EB-2 cutoff dates (April 15, 2014 v. August 8, 2013).

The Dates for Filing chart still shows no change. 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 November 15, 2013. Cutoff dates for EB-2 India will remain at 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 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

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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