Call us today for help! (206) 292-5237

October 2019 Visa Bulletin Commentary

After a longer than usual wait, the October 2019 Visa Bulletin was just released today. It was a bit of a mixed bag, with certain categories experiencing significant advancement, returning to priority dates from earlier this year, and some unanticipated retrogression. The most disappointing development was EB1 India, which only returned to its 1 January 2015 priority date from June’s visa bulletin. It appears that EB1 India will see little to no significant forward movement for quite some time, and those with 2016 and 2017 priority dates in this category should look into contingency plans to maintain their underlying status until their priority dates become current. There was one positive – the date for filing for EB1 All Countries experienced significant forward movement to a priority date of 1 July 2019. Get those EB1 All Countries AOS applications in before the Public Charge rules take effect on October 15th!

 

We will continue to monitor trends and developments closely and inform our readers about what the Department of State is projecting for future months.

 

Commentary:

 

October 2019

 

For all countries except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico: F2A category priority date remains current, F2B preference remains at a PD of 1 June 2014, F4 category advances 21 days to 22 November 2006; EB1 advances 203 days to 22 April 2018; EB2 is once again current; and EB3 is once again current.

 

For India only: F2A category remains current, F2B preference remains at 1 June 2014, F4 advances 9 days to a PD of 1 October 2004; EB1 returns to a PD of 1 January 2015; EB2 advances 4 days to 12 May 2009; EB3 advances 1280 days (3 years, 6 months) to a PD of 1 January 2009; EB5 Non-Regional Center advances 82 days to a PD of 22 November 2017; EB5 Regional Center is currently unavailable.

 

For China only: EB1 advances 1035 (2 years, 10 months) a PD of 1 November 2016; EB2 retrogresses to a PD of 1 January 2015; EB3 advances 669 days (1 year, 10 months) to a PD of 1 November 2015; EB5 Non-Regional Center remains at a PD of 22 October 2014; EB5 Regional Center is currently unavailable.

 

For Vietnam only: EB5 Non-Regional Center advances 724 days (1 year, 11 months, 23 days) to a PD of 15 October 2016; EB5 Regional Center is currently unavailable.

 

Can file your immigrant applications if PD before:

 

F2A 1 August 2019; F2B 1 December 2014 for All Areas, except 1 April 1999 for Mexico and 1 March 2009 for Philippines; F4 15 May 2007 for All Areas, except 1 June 2005 for India, 1 January 1999 for Mexico, and 8 January 1999 for Philippines.

 

EB1 1 July 2019 for all countries, except 1 September 2017 for China and 15 March 2017 for India; EB2 All countries except India and China are current; EB3 All countries except India, China, and Philippines are current; EB2 India advances 30 days to 1 July 2009; EB3 India retrogresses to 1 February 2010; EB2 China retrogresses to 1 August 2016; EB3 China advances 273 days to 1 March 2017; EB5 China (RC and Non-RC) advances 40 days to 1 January 2015; Vietnam is not individually listed and should use the all countries category.

 

Notes 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:

 

D.  SCHEDULED EXPIRATION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT VISA CATEGORIES

Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR):

Pursuant to Section 102 of Division H, Title I of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019 (Public Law 116-6), the non-minister special immigrant program expires on September 30, 2019.  No SR visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after midnight September 29, 2019. Visas issued prior to this date will only be issued with a validity date of September 29, 2019, and all individuals seeking admission as a non-minister special immigrant must be admitted (repeat, admitted) into the U.S. no later than midnight September 29, 2019.

The final action date for this category has been listed as “Unavailable” for October.

If there is legislative action extending this category for FY-2020, the final action date would immediately become “Current” for October for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras which would be subject to a July 1, 2016 final action date and Mexico which would be subject to a May 1, 2017 final action date.
Employment Fifth Preference Categories (I5 and R5):

Section 104 of Division H, Title I of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019 (Public Law 116-6) extended this immigrant investor pilot program until September 30, 2019. The I5 and R5 visas may be issued until close of business on September 30, 2019, and may be issued for the full validity period. No I5 or R5 visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after September 30, 2019.

The final action dates for the I5 and R5 categories have been listed as “Unavailable” for October.

If there is legislative action extending them for FY-2020, the final action dates would immediately become “Current” for October for all countries except China-mainland born I5 and R5 which would be subject to an October 22, 2014 final action date, India which would be subject to a November 22, 2017 final action date, and Vietnam I5 and R5 which would be subject to an October 15, 2016 final action date.

E.  VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS

FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)

Worldwide dates:

F1:  Up to two months
F2A: CURRENT, corrective action should be expected by February
F2B: Up to six weeks
F3:  Up to one month
F4:  Up to six weeks

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)

Employment First:

WORLDWIDE:  Up to three months

China: Up to three months

India: Little if any forward movement

Employment Second:

Worldwide:  Current

China:      Up to two months

India:      Up to one week

Employment Third:

Worldwide:   Current

China:       Little if any forward movement

India:       Little if any forward movement

Mexico:      Will remain at the Worldwide date

Philippines: Up to several months

Employment Fourth:   Current for most countries

El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras:  Little if any forward movement

Mexico:  Up to four months

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

China, India, and Vietnam:  Too early to predict

The above final action date projections for the Family and Employment categories indicate what is likely to happen on a monthly basis through January.  The determination of the actual monthly final action dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables.

 

 

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