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August 2019 Visa Bulletin Commentary

The August 2019 Visa Bulletin was just released, and with it came unprecedented retrogression in almost all employment-based categories. EB1 All Countries retrogressed nearly two years, to a final action date of July 1, 2016. In addition, EB2 All Countries and EB3 All Countries, which had remained current for a significant amount of time, also experienced massive retrogression. EB2 All Countries has retrogressed to January 1, 2017, whereas EB3 All Countries has retrogressed to July 1, 2016. The EB5 India category was not spared either, and retrogressed to October 15, 2014, further compounding last month’s retrogression. Additionally, while this Visa Bulletin is not meant to take effect until August, we have received word from colleagues that government officials have been instructed that the August Visa Bulletin is in effect immediately.


There is no telling what sort of disruption and chaos this unprecedented retrogression will have. However, there is little doubt that this backlog is a direct result of the Trump administration’s obstinate policies which created massive delays in adjudication and processing. The only (somewhat) silver lining is that this retrogression is expected to be temporary, with the dates expected to return to their previous levels in October, the first month of the new fiscal year.




August 2019


For all countries except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico: F2A category priority date remains current, F2B preference advances 122 days to a PD of 1 January 2014, F4 category advances 108 days to 1 October 2006; EB1 retrogresses to 1 July 2016; EB2 retrogresses to 1 January 2017; and EB3 retrogresses to 1 July 2016.


For India only: F2A category remains current, F2B preference advances 122 days to 1 January 2014, F4 advances 24 days to a PD of 15 September 2004; EB1 remains at 1 January 2015; EB2 advances 8 days to 2 May 2009; EB3 retrogresses to a PD of 1 January 2006; EB5 Non-Regional Center and Regional Center retrogresses further to a PD of 15 October 2014.


For China only: EB1 retrogresses to a PD of 1 July 2016; EB2 advances 61 days to a PD of 1 January 2017; EB3 advances 182 days to a PD of 1 July 2016; EB5 Non-Regional Center and Regional Center advance 14 days to a PD of 15 October 2014.


For Vietnam only: EB5 Non-Regional Center and Regional Center retrogresses to a PD of 15 October 2014.


Can file your immigrant applications if PD before (depending on which filing chart USCIS indicates):


F2A 1 June 2019; F2B 1 September 2014 for All Areas, except 1 February 1999 for Mexico and 1 November 2008 for Philippines; F4 15 December 2006 for All Areas, except 15 May 2005 for India, 15 December 1998 for Mexico, and 1 November 1998 for Philippines.


EB1 1 September 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 1 June 2009; EB3 India remains at 1 April 2010; EB2 China remains at 1 February 2017; EB3 China remains at 1 June 2016; EB5 China (RC and Non-RC) remains at 1 November 2014; Vietnam is not individually listed and should use the all countries category.



Note from Tahmina:


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


Notes copied from the Department of State regarding Visa availability:



There has been a steadily increasing level of Employment applicant demand since late May for adjustment of status cases filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and there is no indication that this increase will end.  Therefore, it has been necessary to establish or retrogress many of the August Final Action Dates in an effort to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the respective FY-2019 annual limits.

The implementation of the above mentioned dates is expected to be only a temporary issue.  For October, the first month of fiscal year 2020, every effort will be made to return these final action dates to those which applied for July.



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