The State Department has released the January Visa Bulletin and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has confirmed that adjustment-of-status applicants must use the Final Action Dates chart to determine filing eligibility in January. Following rapid advancements in October and the use of the Filing Dates chart from October to December, the switch to the Final Action Dates chart in January means that priority-date cutoffs for key employment-based categories will retrogress sharply next month.

Key Movements:


  • China and India EB-1 will retrogress 14 months to Sept. 1, 2019.
  • All other countries under EB-1 will remain current.


  • China EB-2 will retrogress four months to June 1, 2016.
  • India EB-2 will retrogress 19 months to Oct. 8, 2009.
  • All other countries under EB-2 will remain current.


  • China EB-3 will retrogress five and a half months to Dec. 15, 2017.
  • India EB-3 will retrogress nearly four years to March 22, 2010.
  • All other countries under EB-3 will remain current.

Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases:

Preference All Other Countries China El Salvador Guatemala Honduras India Mexico Philippines
EB-1 Current Sept. 1, 2019 Current Sept. 1, 2019 Current Current
EB-2 Current June 1, 2016 Current Oct. 8, 2009 Current Current
EB-3 Current Dec. 15, 2017 Current Mar. 22, 2010 Current Current

BAL Analysis: Since the Final Action Dates will be used in January, most adjustment-of-status applicants in backlogged categories who are eligible to file in December will no longer be eligible to file new applications in January, but the change will not adversely affect applications that have been filed in December. Applicants should continue to work with their BAL professional to complete their applications in a timely manner.

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

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