Connecticut, US

Jul 11 2019

August 2019 Visa Bulletin: Significant Retrogression in Most Employment-Based Categories, EB-2 India Advances Ahead of EB-3 India

United States

At a glance 

  • Extensive retrogression will occur in August for most countries in the EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 categories due to increased demand. State Department suggests that cutoff dates could return to those listed in the July Visa Bulletin on October 1, 2019, the start of FY 2020.
  • EB-1 will retrogress to July 1, 2016 for most countries. India will remain at January 1, 2015.  
  • EB-2 Worldwide will retrogress to January 1, 2017.
  • EB-3 Worldwide will retrogress to July 1, 2016. EB-3 India will retrogress steeply to January 1, 2006, placing it behind EB-2 India for the first time in many months. EB-2 India will advance slightly to May 2, 2009.

A closer look 

As projected, the State Department will retrogress cutoff dates in the EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Worldwide categories due to a steady increase in adjustment of status filings. According to the State Department’s August Visa Bulletin, cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows: 

  • EB-1: All countries except India will retrogress to July 1, 2016. India will remain at January 1, 2015. China will retrogress by almost one year, while the remaining countries will retrogress by almost two years to the new July 1, 2016 cutoff date.  
  • EB-2: After being current for many months, EB-2 will retrogress by about two and a half years for all countries except China and India to January 1, 2017 in August. China will advance by two months, to January 1, 2017, while India will advance by more than a week, to May 2, 2009.   
  • EB-3 Professional and Skilled Workers: Most countries will move from being current to a cutoff date of July 1, 2016, a retrogression of about three years. China will advance by six months, to July 1, 2016, and India will retrogress by three and a half years, to January 1, 2006.
  • EB-5: Both the Regional and Non-Regional Center categories will advance two weeks for China to October 15, 2014. As expected, the October 15, 2014 China cutoff date will apply to both India and Vietnam in August. This means a retrogression of about two and a half years for India, and a retrogression of about two years for Vietnam. All other countries will remain current. 



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

Immigrant visa availability in the coming months 

In the August Bulletin, the State Department notes that there has been a steady increase in employment-based visa demand from USCIS adjustment of status applications filed with USCIS since late May. Because there is no indication this increase will end, the Department established or retrogressed many of the August employment-based Final Action dates to ensure visa issuance does not exceed legal limits for fiscal year 2019, which ends September 30.

The Department also states, however, that these retrogressions are expected to be temporary, and that in October 2019, the beginning of FY 2020, the agency will attempt to return these Final Action dates to those which appeared in the July Visa Bulletin.

FINAL ACTION CUT-OFF DATES FOR AUGUST 2019 

EB-1 

India: January 1, 2015 

China: July 1, 2016

All other countries: July 1, 2016

EB-2  

China: January 1, 2017 

India: May 2, 2009 

All other countries: January 1, 2017 

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers  

China: July 1, 2016 

India: January 1, 2006 

All other countries: July 1, 2016

EB-3 Other Workers  

China: November 22, 2007 

India: January 1, 2006 

All other countries: July 1, 2016 

EB-4 

El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras: July 1, 2016  

Mexico: July 1, 2016 

All other countries: Current 

EB-5 

China: October 15, 2014 

Vietnam: October 15, 2014 

India: October 15, 2014 

All other countries: Current 

FILING ELIGIBILITY CUT-OFF DATES FOR AUGUST 2019 

EB-1  

China and India: October 1, 2017 

All other countries: September 1, 2018 

EB-2  

China: February 1, 2017 

India: June 1, 2009 

All other countries: Current  

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers  

China: June 1, 2016 

India: April 1, 2010 

All other countries: Current 

EB-3 Other Workers  

China: June 1, 2008 

India: April 1, 2010 

All other countries: Current  

EB-4 

El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras: September 1, 2016  

All other countries: Current 

EB-5  

China: November 15, 2014 

All other countries: Current  

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