Priority-date cutoffs for most employment-based categories based on “Final Action Dates” will retrogress significantly in September, the final month of fiscal year 2018, according to the State Department’s September 2018 Visa Bulletin released today. A priority-date cutoff has been imposed on EB-2 and EB-3 categories for several countries that were current as of August. This follows the imposition of a priority-date cutoff in August on EB-1 categories for El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines, Vietnam and All Other Chargeability Areas because of extremely high demand.
The number of visas are typically depleted at the end of the fiscal year and priority-date cutoffs retrogress before new immigrant visa quotas are available in October.
Additional notes: In the coming months, the EB-1 category for all countries will have cutoff dates imposed in October and is expected see limited, if any, forward movement before December.
It is likely that cutoff priority dates in the EB-2 and EB-3 categories for September are being imposed to control the number of visas issued between now and the end of September. After September, the EB-2 category for all countries except China and India are expected to be current for the foreseeable future, and the EB-3 category for all countries except China, India and the Philippines is expected to be current.
Application Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases:
The State Department also released its Dates for Filing chart for September. Applicants seeking to file for adjustment of status are reminded that the chart does not take effect unless U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 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 September. In August USCIS used the Final Action Dates for Employment-Based cases, and is likely to use that chart for the September numbers as well.
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