Priority-date cutoffs will advance significantly in most employment-based categories, according to the State Department’s August Visa Bulletin.

Key movements:


  • China EB-1 will advance almost six months to Feb. 8, 2018.
  • India EB-1 will advance nine months to Feb. 8, 2018.
  • All other countries under EB-1 will remain current.


  • China EB-2 will advance more than two months to Jan. 15, 2016.
  • India EB-2 will remain at July 8, 2009.
  • All other countries under EB-2 will remain current.


  • China EB-3 will advance almost eight months to Feb. 15, 2017.
  • India EB-3 will advance four months to Oct. 1, 2009.
  • The cutoff for all other countries will advance almost a year to April 1, 2019.

Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases:

Preference All Other Countries China El Salvador Guatemala Honduras India Mexico Philippines Vietnam
EB-1 Current Feb. 8, 2018 Current Feb. 8, 2018 Current Current Current
EB-2 Current Jan. 15, 2016 Current July 8, 2009 Current Current Current
EB-3 April 1, 2019 Feb. 15, 2017 April 1, 2019 Oct. 1, 2009 April 1, 2019 April 1, 2019 April 1, 2019

The State Department also released its Dates for Filing chart for August. 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 officials confirm whether the chart can be used.

BAL Analysis: The advancement in numbers for Chinese and Indian applicants primarily reflects slowdowns in processing adjustment-of-status applications. The State Department has said that the slowdown could have resulted in even greater advancements, but that the advancements must also reflect USCIS processing limitations.

The government’s reduced processing capacity makes it unreasonable to expect that an even more accelerated advancement in the Final Action Dates would increase actual number usage this fiscal year. Additionally, such abrupt movements would likely result in corrective action in the form of retrogression, which should be avoided. As a result, while numbers may continue to advance, there may not be a dramatic advancement even if processing continues to slow.

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

Copyright © 2020 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact