Every month, the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s (AILA) Department of State Liaison Committee checks in with Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division at the Department of State. This month’s check-in included clarification about the numerous retrogressions and changes announced in the September 2018 Visa Bulletin.
Charlie confirmed that the F-1 and F-3 categories, which retrogress in September, will return to their August dates in October, the start of the new fiscal year.
On the employment front, despite previously stating otherwise, Charlie said that EB-1 will not return to current in October. He does not expect there to be significant movement forward until December or the second quarter of the fiscal year. EB-1 China and India will likely have final action dates behind the rest of the world. All EB-2 and EB-3 countries that retrogress in September are expected to return to their August dates in October.
On a different note, like in August, the new final action dates in the September visa bulletin have been imposed immediately. It does anecdotally appear that USCIS will be accepting filings through the end of the month, but will no longer be adjudicating cases with a priority date after the retrogressed priority dates.