U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that in March it will follow the State Department’s Dates for Filing chart employment-based adjustment-of-status applications. The chart was published yesterday in the March Visa Bulletin.

Dates for Filing for Employment-Based Preference Cases:

Preference All Other Countries China El Salvador Guatemala Honduras India Mexico Philippines
EB-1 Current Oct. 1, 2017 Current March 15, 2017 Current Current
EB-2 Current Aug. 1, 2016 Current July 1, 2009 Current Current
EB-3 Jan. 1, 2019 March 1, 2017 Jan. 1, 2019 Feb. 1, 2010 Jan. 1, 2019 Jan. 1, 2019

Additional notes: 
The State Department’s Charlie Oppenheim had predicted that Final Action Dates would be used at least for EB-3 Worldwide and EB-3 Other Workers Worldwide starting in March. USCIS’s announcement, however, confirmed that the Dates for Filing chart will be used for all categories. Family-based immigrants will also use the Dates for Filing chart applicable to family-sponsored immigrants; this chart was also published in the March Visa Bulletin.

BAL Analysis: March will mark the sixth straight month that USCIS will use the Dates for Filing chart. This is good news for a number of employment-based immigrants, because Dates for Filing are generally more progressive than Final Action Dates. Because Vietnam is not included on the Dates for Filing chart, adjustment of status applicants from Vietnam should use the dates listed under “All Other Countries.”

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

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