July 2017 Visa Bulletin – Significant Advancement for EB-3 and Other Workers from India and the Philippines, Retrogression for EB-3 China
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) published the Monthly Visa Bulletin for July 2017, which shows an approximately 3-year retrogression of the “Final Action Cut Off” dates to January 1, 2012 for EB-3 China. EB-3 China applicants with priority dates between January 1, 2012 and October 1, 2014, should file their Adjustment of Status applications (Form I-485) before June 30, 2017, in order to file before the new visa bulletin goes into effect in July. It is anticipated that with the new allotment of visas at the beginning of the fiscal year in October 2017, EB-3 China Final Action Cut Off dates will significantly advance.
The July 2017 Visa Bulletin also reflects significant advancement in the Final Action Cut Off date for the EB-3 and Other Workers categories for nationals of India and the Philippines, modest advancement in the EB-2 category for nationals of China and India, along with only minor or no advancement for the remainder of the preference categories and nationalities. Visa availability under the EB-5 immigrant investor category remains current for all chargeability areas except China, which has a final action date that advanced three (3) weeks, to May 22, 2014, and a filing date of June 15, 2014. Visa availability under the EB-5 immigrant investor category remains current for all chargeability areas except China, which has a final action date that remained the same, June 8, 2014, and a filing date of September 1, 2014.
Filing Cut Off Dates Foster noted in prior Immigration Updates that the “filing cut-off dates” did not change between the December 2016 and April 2017 Visa Bulletins, there was significant movement across the board in the May 2017 Visa Bulletin, and the cut-off dates remained the same in the June 2017 Visa Bulletin as in May. In this July 2017 Visa Bulletin, the EB-3 and Other Workers categories for nationals of India and the Philippines have moved forward significantly, whereas the remainder of the nationalities and categories remain the same as reported in May 2017.
Final Action Cut Off Dates The applicant’s priority date must be current under the “final action cut-off date” before USCIS can finally approve the application. Each month the USCIS anticipates separately confirming one week after issuance of the Visa Bulletin whether applicants may file based on the earlier “filing cut-off date” or the “final action cut-off date.” For the months of March, April, May, and June, the final action dates were the applicable dates.
Applicants under the EB-3 category who were born in China and wish to concurrently file I-485 Applications to Adjust Status with a qualifying EB-3 immigrant petition, or would like to file an I-485 Application based on a pending EB-3 petition, should contact their Foster attorney in order to prepare and file the application before July 1st.
Applicants who become eligible to file applications beginning July 1, 2017 are encouraged to contact their Foster immigration attorney now to start the process of preparing and filing of an I-485 Application to Adjust Status. By initiating these new applications early, applicants could be in a position to file for Lawful Permanent Residency as soon as they are eligible on July 1, 2017. As always, Foster will continue to monitor immigrant visa availability and the procedures that allow for filing Adjustment of Status Applications to Lawful Permanent Resident and will provide additional information in future Immigration Updates© and on our firm’s website at www.fosterglobal.com.