District of Columbia, US

Dec 13 2018

January 2019 Visa Bulletin: No Movement in Cutoff Dates for EB-2 India and EB-3 China and India; Modest EB-1 Advancement

United States

At a glance

  • EB-2 will remain current for most countries except for China, which will advance by one month, to August 1, 2015, and India, which will remain at April 1, 2009.    
  • The EB-3 subcategory for Professionals and Skilled Workers will remain current for most countries, though China and India backlogs will remain unchanged.
  • EB-1 will advance by three months for most countries to October 1, 2017; China and India will advance to December 15, 2016.

The situation

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

  • EB-1: All countries except China and India will advance by three months, to October 1, 2017. China and India will advance by three and a half months, to December 15, 2016. 
  • EB-2: All countries will remain current, except for China and India. China will advance by one month, to August 1, 2015, while India will remain at April 1, 2009. 
  • EB-3 (Professional and Skilled Workers): Most countries will remain current, while China and India will remain at June 8, 2015 and March 1, 2009, respectively. The Philippines will advance one week, to June 22, 2017.
  • EB-5: The Non-Regional Center category will advance by one month for Vietnam, to June 1, 2016, and one week for China, to September 1, 2014. As discussed below, the Regional Center category will become unavailable in late December and into January if it is not reauthorized later this month. 



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. It remains to be seen whether the agency will use the State Department’s “Dates for Filing” chart, as it has done for the last three months. There were modest advancements in the cutoff dates on the State Department’s December “Dates for Filing” chart for EB-3 Professional and Skilled Worker China and India and the Philippines, and EB-3 Other Workers for India. 

Impact of possible program expirations

The EB-4 Non-Minster Religious Worker and EB-5 Regional Center programs are set to expire on December 21, 2018, when a continuing budget resolution funding the federal government expires. Unless Congress reauthorizes these programs by December 21, immigrant visas in the EB-4 and EB-5 subcategories will become unavailable on that date, and affected cases will not be approved.  The EB-5 non-Regional Center program will not be affected.

FINAL ACTION CUT-OFF DATES FOR JANUARY 2019

EB-1

China and India: December 15, 2016

All other countries: October 1, 2017

EB-2

China: August 1, 2015

India: April 1, 2009

All other countries: Current

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers

China: June 8, 2015

India: March 1, 2009

Philippines: June 22, 2017

All other countries: Current

EB-3 Other Workers

China: July 1, 2007

India: March 1, 2009

Philippines: June 22, 2017

All other countries: Current

EB-4*

El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras: February 22, 2016

Mexico: April 15, 2017

All other countries: Current                                                                                 

* The EB-4 Non-Religious Worker program will become unavailable for all countries on December 21 unless it is reauthorized by Congress.

EB-5*

China: September 1, 2014

Vietnam: June 1, 2016

All other countries: Current

* The Regional Center program will become unavailable for all countries on December 21 unless it is reauthorized by Congress.

FILING ELIGIBILITY CUT-OFF DATES FOR JANUARY 2019

EB-1

China and India: October 1, 2017

All other countries: June 1, 2018

EB-2

China: September 8, 2015

India: May 22, 2009

All other countries: Current

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers

China: January 1, 2016

India: April 1, 2010

Philippines: August 1, 2017

All other countries: Current

EB-3 Other Workers

China: June 1, 2008

India: April 1, 2010

Philippines: August 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.