Virginia, US

Sep 12 2018

October 2018 Visa Bulletin: EB-1 Advances for All Countries But Remains Backlogged; Significant Advancement for EB-2 and EB-3

United States

At a glance

  • EB-1 for all countries except India and China will advance ten months, to April 1, 2017.
  • EB-1 India and China will advance almost four and a half years, to June 1, 2016.
  • EB-2 and EB-3 worldwide categories will return to currency. 
  • EB-2 China and India will advance more than two years, to April 1, 2015 for China and March 26, 2009 for India.

The situation

According to the State Department’s October Visa Bulletin, cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa will advance as follows:

  • EB-1: All countries except India and China will advance ten months, to April 1, 2017. EB-1 China and India will advance almost four and a half years to June 1, 2016.
  • EB-2: All countries except India and China will return to currency. China will advance more than two years, to April 1, 2015. India will advance more than two years, to March 26, 2009.
  • EB-3 (Professional and Skilled Workers): All countries except China, India and the Philippines will become current. China will advance more than six months, to June 1, 2015. India will advance six years, to January 1, 2009. The Philippines will advance more than six months, to June 1, 2017.
  • EB-5: Non-Regional Center category will advance a week for China, to August 15, 2014, and will advance almost a year and a half for Vietnam, to January 1, 2016.


Advancement in all EB-1 categories exceeded expectations set by the Department of State in August; the agency had predicted that there would not be much forward EB-1 movement before December 2018. It is not yet known whether the rapid advancement will continue next month.

In the coming days, USCIS is expected to announce on its own Visa Bulletin web page the cut-off dates for acceptance of adjustment of status applications next month.

Impact of possible program expirations

The EB-4 Non-Minister Religious Worker and EB-5 Regional Center programs are set to expire on September 30, 2018. Unless Congress reauthorizes these programs or passes a temporary spending measure, immigrant visas in these EB-4 and EB-5 subcategories will become unavailable in October. The EB-5 non-Regional Center program will not be affected.

FINAL ACTION CUT-OFF DATES FOR OCTOBER 2018

EB-1
China: June 1, 2016
India: June 1, 2016
All other countries: April 1, 2017

EB-2
China: April 1, 2015
India: March 26, 2009
All other countries: Current

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers
China: June 1, 2015
India: January 1, 2009
Philippines: June 1, 2017
All other countries: Current

EB-3 Other Workers
China: May 1, 2007
India: January 1, 2009
Philippines: June 1, 2017
All other countries: Current

EB-4*
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras: February 15, 2016
Mexico: October 22, 2016
All other countries: Current
*The EB-4 Non-Religious Worker program will become unavailable for all countries in October unless it is reauthorized by Congress.

EB-5*
China: August 15, 2014
Vietnam: January 1, 2016
All other countries: Current
*The Regional Center program will become unavailable for all countries in October unless it is reauthorized by Congress.

FILING ELIGIBILITY CUT-OFF DATES FOR OCTOBER 2018

EB-1
China and India: October 1, 2017
All other countries: June 1, 2018

EB-2
China: June 15, 2015
India: May 22, 2009
All other countries: Current

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers
China: August 8, 2015
India: October 1, 2009
Philippines: July 1, 2017
All other countries: Current

EB-3 Other Workers
China: June 1, 2008
India: October 1, 2009
Philippines: July 1, 2017
All other countries: Current

EB-4
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras: May 1, 2016
All other countries: Current

EB-5
China: October 1, 2014
Current for all other countries and subcategories

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.