Cutoff priority dates will be imposed for this first time this year in EB-2 categories for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines and All Other Chargeability Areas, according to the State Department’s August Visa Bulletin. Cutoff priority dates will remain the same in all EB-1 categories and will advance across most EB-3 categories.

Key movements in priority cutoff dates: 

  • A cutoff priority date of April 1, 2015 was imposed in the EB-2 categories for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines and All Other Chargeability Areas.
  • China EB-2 will advance by one month to April 22, 2013, while China EB-3 will remain set at Jan. 1, 2012.
  • India EB-2 will remain set at July 22, 2008, while India EB-3 will advance by five months to July 15, 2006.
  • The EB-3 categories for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Mexico and All Other Chargeability Areas will become current, advancing from a cutoff priority date of June 8, 2017 in the July Visa Bulletin.
  • Philippines EB-3 will advance by more than a year to June 1, 2015.

Additional notes: All EB-1 and categories other than those for China and India will remain current. The cutoff priority date for EB-1 China and EB-1 India will remain at Jan. 1, 2012. It is likely that the retrogression for certain categories is being undertaken to control the number of visas issued between now and the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, as the number of available immigrant visas runs out. The number of immigrant visas will increase again under the 2018 fiscal year’s annual limits. At that time, all EB-1 categories and all EB-2 categories other than China and India are likely to become current.

Application Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases:

Preference China El Salvador Guatemala Honduras India Mexico




All Other Countries
EB-1 Jan. 1, 2012 Current Jan. 1, 2012 Current Current Current
EB-2 April 22, 2013 April 1, 2015 July 22, 2008 April 1, 2015 April 1, 2015 April 1, 2015
EB-3 Jan. 1, 2012 Current July 15, 2006 Current June 1, 2015 Current

The State Department also released its Dates for Filing chart for August 2017. Applicants seeking to file for adjustment of status are reminded that the Dates for Filing chart does not take effect unless USCIS confirms it via a web posting in the next week or so. BAL will update clients once the State Department confirms whether the Dates for Filing chart can be used in August.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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