August 2018 Visa Bulletin with Commentary

The August 2018 Visa Bulletin was released this morning. Most notably, EB1 worldwide will retrogress, most likely becoming current again at the start of the new fiscal year. Additionally, EB3 India is now within 2.5 month of moving past EB2 India. If you are now eligible to file your adjustment of status, you can go ahead and file it. If you need assistance with filing, feel free to contact us at info@watsonimmigrationlaw.com.

August 2018

For all countries except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico: F2A category priority date advances 30 days to 22 July 2016, F2B preference advances 68 days to a PD of 22 October 2011, F4 category advances 37 days to 22 December 2004; EB1 retrogresses to 1 May 2016; EB2 and EB3 remain current.

For India only:  F2A category advances 30 days with the priority date 22 July 2016, F2B preference advances 68 days to a PD of 22 October 2011, F4 advances 7 days to a PD of 22 March 2004; EB1 remains at a PD of 1 January 2012; EB2 remains at a PD of 15 March 2009; EB3 advances 61 days to a PD of 1 January 2009.

For China Only: EB1 remains at a PD of 1 January 2012; EB2 advances 59 days to a PD of 1 January 2015; EB3 advances 564 days to a PD of 1 July 2014; EB5 Non-Regional Center and Region Center remain at a PD of 1 August 2014.

For Vietnam Only: EB-5 Non-Regional Center and Regional remain at a PD of 1 August 2014.

Can file your immigrant applications if PD before:

F2A 1 December 2017; F2B 8 January 2012; F4 1 May 2005 for All Areas except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico and 1 January 2005 for India

EB1 is current for all countries; EB2 All Countries except India and China are current; EB3 All countries except China, India, and the Philippines are current; EB2 India remains at 22 May 2009; EB3 India remains at1 May 2009 EB2 China remains at 1 April 2015; EB3 China remains at 1 January 2016; EB5 China (RC and non-RC) remains at 1 October 2014. Vietnam is not individually listed and should use the all countries category.

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Notes copied from the Department of State regarding Visa availability:

*NOTE: For August, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01JUL16. F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01JUL16 and earlier than 22JUL16. All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit.

D.  SPECIAL IMMIGRANT (SI) TRANSLATOR CATEGORY VISA AVAILABILITY

Given the limited availability of visa numbers and the existing demand, the Department expects to reach the FY-2018 annual limit of 50 Special Immigrant Visas in the SI category early this year. As a result, it has been necessary to maintain an August Final Action Date of April 22, 2012. Once the annual limit of 50 visas is reached, further issuances in the SI category will not be possible until October 2018, under the FY-2019 annual limit. The SQ Special Immigrant Visa category for certain Iraqi and Afghan nationals employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq or Afghanistan is not affected and remains current.

E.  FAMILY-SPONSORED VISA AVAILABILITY DURING SEPTEMBER

The level of applicant demand being received in several preference categories has been steadily increasing.  Although it is too early to tell at this time, continued high levels of demand might require the retrogression of one or more final action dates for September.  Such action would be necessary to hold number use within the overall worldwide annual limits.

INDIA:  The level of applicant demand being received in the Family Third and Fourth preference categories in recent months has increased dramatically.  It is expected that one or both of these final action dates will be retrogressed for September.  Such action would be necessary to hold number use within the per-country annual limit.

Any retrogression of the above mentioned preferences would be temporary and in October, the first month of fiscal year 2019, the final action dates would be returned to those established for August.

F.  OVERSUBSCRIPTION OF AUGUST EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CATEGORIES

WORLDWIDE, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, MEXICO, AND PHILIPPINES EMPLOYMENT-BASED FIRST (E1) PREFERENCE:  As readers were advised in item F of the July Visa Bulletin, there continues to be an extremely high rate of demand for E1 numbers, primarily for USCIS adjustment of status applicants. Therefore, pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, it has been necessary to impose an E1 Final Action Date for the month of August, with this date being imposed immediately. This action will allow the Department to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2018 annual limits.

INDIA Employment-based Fourth (E4) AND Certain Religious Workers (SR) preference categories:  There has been extremely high demand in these preference categories. Pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, it has been necessary to impose E4 and SR Final Action Dates for India, which has reached its per-country limit. This action will allow the Department to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2018 annual limits.

The implementation of the above mentioned dates will only be temporary, with the dates returning to Current status for October, the first month of fiscal year 2019.