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October 2019 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based Visa Numbers – Eligibility to File Adjustment of Status Applications

September 26, 2019 Leave a comment

For Employment-Based Preference Filings:
You must use the Dates for Filing chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for October 2019.

Employment-
based
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland
born
EL SALVADOR
GUATEMALA
HONDURAS
INDIA
MEXICO 
PHILIPPINES 
1st
01JUL19
01SEP17
01JUL19
15MAR17
01JUL19
01JUL19
2nd
C
01AUG16
C
01JUL09
C
C
3rd
C
01MAR17
C
01FEB10
C
C
Other Workers
C
01AUG08
C
01FEB10
C
C
4th
C
C
15AUG16
C
C
C
Certain Religious Workers
C
C
15AUG16
C
C
C
5th Non-Regional Center
(C5 and T5)
C
01JAN15
C
C
C
C
5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
C
01JAN15
C
C
C
C

May 2016 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based Visa Numbers – Eligibility to File Adjustment of Status Applications

April 20, 2016 Leave a comment
Employment-
based
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 
1st C C C C C
2nd C 01JUN13 01JUL09 C C
3rd C 01MAY15 01JUL05 C 01JAN10
Other Workers C 01APR08 01JUL05 C 01JAN10
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
5th
Non-Regional
Center
(C5 and T5)
C 01MAY15 C C C
5th
Regional
Center
(I5 and R5)
C 01MAY15 C C C

USCIS Suspends Final Adjudication of Employment-Based Adjustment Applications for the Remainder of FY 2015

September 25, 2015 Leave a comment

Starting today, USCIS will suspend final adjudication of employment-based Form I-485 applications (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) because the Department of State reports that the statutory cap has been reached for the employment-based preference categories for fiscal year (FY) 2015.  This suspension applies to all employment-based adjustment applications pending with USCIS through September 30, 2015 (the remainder of FY2015).

USCIS will continue to accept adjustment of status applications that are filed when the foreign national’s priority date is earlier than the cut-off date published in the September Visa Bulletin for his or her preference category and country of birth/chargeability. USCIS will resume final adjudication of employment-based adjustment applications beginning October 1, 2015, when visa numbers are again available.

Applicants filing Form I-485 on or after October 1, 2015, should review the “When to File” section on the Visa Bulletin Info Web page to determine whether they are eligible to file Form I-485.

Visa Bulletin Changes and How to Read/Understand it

September 10, 2015 Leave a comment

Effective October 2015, the U.S. State Department’s visa bulletin will include two different charts each for family-based and employment-based visa preference categories.   The charts are:

  • Application Final Action Dates (dates when visas may finally be issued); and
  • Dates for Filing Applications (earliest dates when applicants may be able to apply).

Generally speaking, unless otherwise indicated in this visa bulletin itself, individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status (i.e. Form I-485) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must use the “Application Final Action Dates” chart for determining when they can file Form I-485 adjustment applications. The visa bulletin may indicate the ability for such individuals to instead use theDates for Filing Visa Applications” charts, when USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for the fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas.

For instance, the October 2015 visa bulletin clearly indicates for family-based visa category that “USCIS has determined that this chart (4.B.) may be used (in lieu of the chart in paragraph 4.A.) this month for filing applications for adjustment of status with USCIS.” and for employment-based visa category that “USCIS has determined that this chart (5.B.) may be used (in lieu of the chart in paragraph 5.A.) this month for filing applications for adjustment of status with USCIS. ”  This means that for October 2015, individuals seeking to file adjustment applications (whether in family-based or in employment-based categories) may use the chart listed in Dates for Filing [of Family-Based or Employment-Based] Applications to determine their priority dates for Form I-485 filing purposes.

Background and reason for the change in visa bulletin:

According to State Dept., this revised process will enhance its ability to more accurately predict overall immigrant visa demand and determine the cut-off dates for visa issuance published in the Visa Bulletin. This will help ensure that the maximum number of immigrant visas are issued annually as intended by Congress, and minimize month-to-month fluctuations in Visa Bulletin final action dates.  The Visa Bulletin revisions implement November 2014 executive actions on immigration announced by President Obama and Secretary of Homeland Security Johnson, as detailed in the White House report, Modernizing and Streamlining Our Legal Immigration System for the 21st century, issued in July 2015.

July 2015 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Numbers

June 11, 2015 Leave a comment
Employment- Based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA – mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C 01OCT13 01OCT08 C C
3rd 01APR15 01SEP11 01FEB04 01APR15 U
Other Workers 01APR15 01JAN06 01FEB04 01APR15 U
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
5th
Targeted
Employment
Areas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs
C 01SEP13 C C C

EB-2 and EB-3 Updates for India & China

March 28, 2015 Leave a comment

In a recent meeting on March 13, 2015, Charles (“Charlie”) Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State predicted the following for EB-2 and EB-3 China:

EB-2 India. After advancing 16 months in March 2015, EB-2 India will advance another eight months in April, to September 1, 2007. It is reasonable to expect EB-2 India to continue to advance at a steady pace for another couple of months before slowing or holding toward the end of the fiscal year.

EB-3 India. Mr. Oppenheim states that at this time, there is nothing which can be done to improve the India EB-3 cut-off date situation unless there is a legislative change. The amount of pre-adjudicated India EB-3 demand versus the annual limit prevents more than a one or two week monthly movement of this cut-off date. For example, at this time, more than 9,100 India EB-3 applicants with priority dates earlier than January 1, 2005 (alone) have already been reported to the Visa Office and the FY2015 annual limit is approximately 2,875.

 China EB-2 to EB-3 Downgrade Phenomenon (at least for FY2015). In April 2015, the EB-3 China cut-off date (currently October 22, 2011) will retrogress more than nine months to January 1, 2011. As a result, EB-3 China will return to its more “natural” position and will be three months earlier than EB-2 China (April 1, 2011). This will effectively end the EB-3 downgrade phenomenon.

For months, the cut-off date for EB-3 China has been later than EB-2 China due to insufficient EB-3 demand. As a result, EB-2 China beneficiaries filed EB-3 I-140 petitions in an attempt to take advantage of the earlier EB-3 cut-off date. This surge in demand required a correction to EB-3 China, resulting more than nine months of retrogression.

In November 2014, Mr. Oppenheim predicted that a correction would be required as early as February 2015. EB-3 China beneficiaries were fortunate that this phenomenon lasted two months longer than anticipated. EB-3 China beneficiaries with priority dates between April 1, 2011 and October 22, 2011 file them before the end of this month when the window will close.  It is reasonable to expect that filing now will not result in final action on their case in the foreseeable future.

Mr. Oppenheim continues to monitor EB-2 China, which will advance seven months to April 1, 2011 in April. He notes that additional forward movement in May remains possible if sufficient demand for EB-2 China does not materialize at the beginning of April. As was the case in EB-3 China, some corrective action may be required later in the year should there be excessive demand based on the movement of the EB-2 cut-off date.

December 2014 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Numbers

November 14, 2014 Leave a comment
Employment- Based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA – mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C 01JAN10 15FEB05 C C
3rd 01NOV12 01JUN10 01DEC03 01NOV12 01NOV12
Other Workers 01NOV12 22JUL05 01DEC03 01NOV12 01NOV12
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
5th
Targeted
Employment
Areas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs
C C C C C
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