February 2019 Visa Bulletin Commentary

February 2019 Visa Bulletin Commentary

 

February 2019

For all countries except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico: F2A category priority date advances 23 days to 1 December 2016, F2B preference advances 47 days to a PD of 1 May 2012, F4 category advances 31 days to 22 June 2005; EB1 advances 61 days to 1 December 2017; EB2 remains current; and EB3 remains current.

For India only: F2A category advances 23 days to a priority date of 1 December 2016, F2B preference advances 47 days to 1 May 2012, F4 advances 7 days to a PD of 22 June 2004; EB1 advances 56 days to a PD of 8 February 2017; EB2 advances 5 days to 6 April 2009; EB3 advances 53 days to a PD of 22 April 2009.

For China only: EB1 advances 56 days to a PD of 8 February 2017; EB2 advances 62 days to a PD of 1 October 2015; EB3 advances 24 days to a PD of 1 July 2015; EB5 Non-Regional Center remains at a PD of 1 September 2014; EB5 Regional Center is currently unavailable.

For Vietnam only: EB5 Non-Regional Center advances 15 days to a PD of 15 June 2016; EB5 Regional Center is currently unavailable.

 

Can file your immigrant applications if PD before:

F2A 1 December 2017; F2B 22 June 2014 for All Areas, except 8 October 1997 for Mexico and 15 January 2008 for Philippines; F4 15 June 2006 for All Areas, except 1 February 2005 for India, 8 November 1998 for Mexico, and 8 December 1997 for Philippines.

EB1 1 June 2018 for all countries, except 1 October 2017 for China and India; EB2 All countries except India and China are current; EB3 All countries except India, China, and Philippines are current; EB2 India remains at 22 May 2009; EB3 India remains at 1 April 2010; EB2 China advances 55 days to 1 November 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.

 

Note from Tahmina:

 

In light of the recent No-RFE memo as well the NTA memos, it is important that those waiting to receive their green cards maintain their underlying visa status.

**Copyright 2019 by Watson Immigration Law. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Notes copied from the Department of State regarding Visa availability:

 

D.  SCHEDULED EXPIRATION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT VISA CATEGORIES

Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR):

With the expiration of the continuing resolution on December 21, 2018 authorization for the non-minister special immigrant program has lapsed. No SR visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases.  Therefore, the final action date for this category has been listed as “Unavailable” for February.

If there is legislative action extending this category for FY-2019, the final action date would immediately become “Current” for February for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras which would be subject to a March 1, 2016 final action date, and for Mexico which would be subject to a September 1, 2017 final action date.

Employment Fifth Preference Categories (I5 and R5):

With the expiration of the continuing resolution on December 21, 2018 authorization for the immigrant investor pilot program has lapsed.  No I5 or R5 visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases.  Therefore, the final action dates for the I5 and R5 categories have been listed as “Unavailable” for February.

If there is legislative action extending them for FY-2019, the final action dates would immediately become “Current” for February for all countries except China-mainland born, which would be subject to a September 1, 2014 final action date and Vietnam, which would be subject to a June 15, 2016 final action date.

E.  VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS

FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)

Worldwide dates (except oversubscribed countries):

F1:  Up to five weeks
F2A: Up to one month
F2B: Up to two months
F3:  Up to two weeks
F4:  Up to six weeks

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)

Employment First:

WORLDWIDE (most countries):  Up to two months.
China and India:  Up to one month.

Employment Second:

Worldwide:  Current for the foreseeable future.
China:      Up to three months.
India:      Up to one week

Employment Third:

Worldwide:  Current
China:         Up to three weeks.
India:          Up to three months.
Mexico:       Current
Philippines:  Rapid movement to generate demand.

Employment Fourth:  Current for most countries.

El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras:   Up to one week.
Mexico:    Rapid forward movement until limit is reached.

Employment Fifth:  The category will remain “Current” for most countries.

China-mainland born:  Up to one week.
Vietnam:  Up to three weeks.

The above final action date projections for the Family and Employment categories indicate what is likely to happen on a monthly basis through May.  The determination of the actual monthly final action dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables. It is also important to remember that by no means has every applicant with a priority date earlier than a prevailing final action date been processed for final visa action, with applicants often processing at their own initiative and convenience.