Cutoff priority dates will be imposed in the China EB-1 and India EB-1 employer-based categories for the first time this year, according to the State Department’s April Visa Bulletin. China EB-2 and the EB-3 categories for China, India and the Philippines will advance significantly.

Key movements:

  • A cutoff priority date of Jan. 1, 2012 will be imposed in both the China EB-1 and India EB-1 categories.
  • China EB-2 will advance by nearly eight months to Aug. 1, 2014, while China EB-3 will advance 6 ½ months to June 1, 2015.
  • India EB-2 will advance one week to Dec. 22, 2008, while India EB-3 will advance by a little more than one year to Feb. 1, 2008.
  • Philippines EB-3 will advance by eight months to Jan. 1, 2017.

Additional notes: All EB-1 and EB-2 categories other than those for China and India will remain current. The EB-3 categories for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Mexico and All Other Chargeability Areas will also remain current.

The imposition of cutoff priority dates in China EB-1 and India EB-1, which have been current up to now this year, are likely being undertaken to control the number of visas issued between now and the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30, as the number of available immigrant visas runs out. The number of immigrant visas will probably increase again in the next fiscal year under the 2019 fiscal year’s annual limits.

Application Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases:

Preference China El Salvador Guatemala Honduras India Mexico Philippines All Other Countries
EB-1 Jan. 1, 2012 Current Jan. 1, 2012 Current Current Current
EB-2 Aug. 1, 2014 Current Dec. 22, 2008 Current Current Current
EB-3 June 1, 2015 Current Feb. 1,
Current Jan. 1, 2017 Current

The State Department also released its Dates for Filing chart for April. Applicants seeking to file for adjustment of status are reminded that the chart does not take effect unless U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services confirms that it does via a web posting in the coming days. BAL will update clients once the State Department confirms whether the chart can be used in April.

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

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