U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that in February it will follow the State Department’s Dates for Filing chart for most employment-based categories when determining whether applicants are eligible to file for adjustment of status. The chart was published last week in the February Visa Bulletin.

The only categories for which the Dates for Filing chart will not apply are the EB-3 categories for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Mexico and All Other Countries. This is because these categories are listed as “current” in the Final Action Dates chart, but have a cutoff date in Dates for Filing. For these nationals in the EB-3 category, the Final Action Date chart will apply.

Cutoff dates that will control filing in February:

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 Current March 1, 2017 Current Feb. 1, 2010 Current Jan. 1, 2019

Family-based immigrants will also use the Dates for Filing chart applicable to family-sponsored immigrants, which was also published in the February Visa Bulletin.

BAL Analysis: February will mark the fifth straight month that USCIS will use the Dates for Filing chart. This is good news for a number of employment-based immigrants, as the Dates for Filing chart generally contains more progressive cutoff dates than the Final Action Dates chart, especially in EB-1. 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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