As predicted, many categories returned to being current in the October 2017 Visa Bulletin (VB). The exceptions continue to be the EB-2 and EB-3 categories for both India and China, as well as the EB-3 category for the Philippines. The EB-5 category for all countries (except China) remains current, as the current EB-5 program was extended unchanged through to December 8, 2017.
This month’s VB highlights are as follows:
EB-1: All countries have returned to being current, as was predicted in previous months. This category is expected to remain current in the coming months; however as was the case in this fiscal year, there is a possibility of retrogression of the China and/or India EB1 categories later in the next fiscal year starting October 2017.
EB-2: Apart from India and China, all countries are current and are expected to remain so in the coming months. China and India continue to be the exceptions in that they both have final action dates that continue to experience little movement forward, and neither country is anticipated to experience meaningful movement for the next few months.
EB-3: The China final action date in this category moved forward to January 1, 2014 as opposed to the predicted October 1, 2014. However, the final action date for China in this category is supposed to move forward up to four months in the coming months. Unfortunately, India did not experience any movement and is not expected to experience any movement forward in the coming months. Similarly, the Philippines only advanced by 1 month and is not expected to see any real movement for the next few months. All other countries are current and are expected to remain so in the coming months.
EB-5: On Friday, September 8, 2017, the Trump Administration signed into law H.R. 601 “Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017”, which extended the current EB-5 program until December 8, 2017. As continues to be the trend, all countries remain current except for China, which has only experienced no advances and is not expected to see any large movement.
General Notes on Final Action Dates: The final action or cutoff date is effectively one’s place in line to immigrate based on the individual’s priority date. Individuals with priority dates earlier than the listed cut-off date on the VB are eligible to submit applications for adjustment of status (or consular visa applications) or if their applications are already pending may have their cases adjudicated. If one’s priority date is not “current”, neither agency may accept the case for processing nor adjudicate a pending case because the “visa is not available” if the final action dates is not “current.” The priority date is established a number of ways:
- PERM: The date on which the application is filed with the Department of Labor, provided that the PERM is approved and an I-140 is then filed and approved based on the PERM.
- EB1 & EB2 (NIW, Schedule A): The date on which the I-140 is filed with the USCIS, provided that the petition is approved.
- EB-5: The date on which the Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur is received by USCIS, provided that the petition is approved.
- Family-based immigration cases: The date on which the I-130 is filed with the USCIS, provided that the petition is approved.
Note that DOS looks at one’s country of birth in determining whether one is a national of a given country, not the country of citizenship. It is country of birth (principal alien or his/her spouse) that determines the country of chargeability to be “counted” against for purposes of permanent residency. Counting against the country of birth of one’s spouse is called “cross-chargeability.”
For general information on visa retrogression, please see our FAQ on this subject. For more information on the Visa Bulletin and country quota movements, including information about movement in the Family-Based Quotas, please see our DOS Visa Bulletin and Quota Movement page.