Virginia, US

Aug 08 2018

September 2018 Visa Bulletin: Immediate EB-2 and EB-3 Retrogression for Most Countries Through September 30

United States

At a glance

  • EB-1 for all countries except India and China will advance one month, to June 1, 2016.
  • EB-2 for all countries retrogresses immediately, with expected return to August priority dates in October. India retrogresses to January 1, 2007, while all other countries retrogress to January 1, 2013.
  • EB-3 for all countries except China retrogresses immediately, with return to August priority dates in October.

The situation

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

  • EB-1: All countries except India and China will advance one month, to June 1, 2016. EB-1 China and India will remain at January 1, 2012.
  • EB-2: All countries except India retrogress to January 1, 2013. India retrogresses to January 1, 2007. EB-2 retrogressions are effective immediately and will remain through September 30.
  • EB-3 (Professional and Skilled Workers): All countries except China and India retrogress to November 1, 2016. China advances four months, to November 1, 2014. India retrogresses by six years, to January 1, 2003. EB-3 retrogressions are effective immediately and will remain through September 30.
  • EB-3 (Other Workers): All countries except China and India retrogress to November 1, 2016. China remains at May 1, 2007, while India retrogresses by six years, to January 1, 2003. EB-3 retrogressions are effective immediately and will remain through September 30.
  • EB-5: China and Vietnam advance seven days, to August 8, 2014.


The Visa Bulletin has imposed mid-month retrogressions in new employment-based categories to ensure that visa usage remains within the annual quota for FY 2018.

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. It is expected that USCIS will accept newly retrogressed adjustment of status applications for the remainder of the month of August, but will not be able to approve them until immigrant visas become available in FY 2019, which begins October 1.

Immigrant visa availability in the coming months

As noted above, the newly retrogressed worldwide EB-2 and EB-3 categories are expected to be returned to their August priority dates when the new fiscal year begins on October 1. Similarly, China EB-2 and India EB-2 and EB-3 are expected to return to their August priority dates in October.  

The State Department projects the following monthly cut-off date movements through January 2019:

  • EB-1: Cut-off dates will be imposed for all countries in October. Limited, if any, forward movement can be expected prior to December.
  • EB-2: China to advance slowly; India to advance up to two weeks. All other countries expected to remain current.
  • EB-3: China to advance up to three weeks; India to advance slowly; Philippines to advance minimally. Mexico and all other countries expected to remain current.
  • EB-4: Mexico to advance up to three months; El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to advance little, if at all. All other countries expected to remain current.
  • EB-5: China-mainland born to advance up to one week; Vietnam to advance steadily. All other countries expected to remain current.​


FINAL ACTION CUT-OFF DATES FOR SEPTEMBER 2018

EB-1
China: January 1, 2012
India: January 1, 2012
All other countries: June 1, 2016

EB-2
China: January 1, 2013
India: January 1, 2007
All other countries: January 1, 2013

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers
China: November 1, 2014
India: January 1, 2003
All other countries: November 1, 2016

EB-3 Other Workers
China: May 1, 2007
India: January 1, 2003
All other countries: November 1, 2016

EB-4
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras: February 15, 2016
Mexico: February 15, 2016
India: February 15, 2016
All other countries: Current

EB-5
China: August 8, 2014
Vietnam: August 8, 2014
Current for all other countries and subcategories

FILING ELIGIBILITY CUT-OFF DATES FOR SEPTEMBER 2018

EB-1
Current for all countries

EB-2
China: April 1, 2015
India: May 22, 2009
All other countries: Current

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers
China: January 1, 2016
India: May 1, 2009
Philippines: July 1, 2017
All other countries: Current

EB-3 Other Workers
China: June 1, 2008
India: May 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.