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January 2018 Visa Bulletin – Significant Movement for Other Workers China, Modest Advancement Otherwise

20 Dec

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) published the Monthly Visa Bulletin for January 2018, showing significant advancement in the Other Workers preference category for China and modest forward movement across all employment-based categories except for EB-1, which remains current for all countries.

The EB-2 category remains current for applicants born in all countries other than India and China, which reflected modest advancement of three and five weeks, respectively. The EB-3 category remains “current” for all countries except: China (forward 1 month, 1 week, to April 15, 2014); India (forward 3 weeks to November 1, 2006); and, the Philippines (forward 1 month to February 15, 2016). Other Workers China moved forward 5 months, 3 weeks, to December 22, 2006, Other Works India moved forward 3 weeks to November 1, 2006, and Other Workers Philippines moved forward 1 month to February 15, 2016.

The EB-5 Category remains current for all countries except for mainland China, which remains backlogged but progressed forward one week to July 22, 2014.

Since October 2015, the DOS publishes two separate dates for backlogged employment-based immigrant preference categories, referred to as a “filing cut-off date” and a “final action cut-off date.” Applicants may file their applications or have their applications finally adjudicated when their priority date is “current.” The priority date, which is normally the date the labor certification or immigrant petition was originally filed, is said to be “current” when the priority date is earlier than the posted cut-off date in the Monthly Visa Bulletin, based on the person’s immigrant category and country of birth.

DOS indicated that unless otherwise indicated on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website that USCIS will accept employment-based applications filed based on the “final action cut-off date.” USCIS announced for January 2018 that the final action cut-off dates will continue to be controlling for this month. The applicant’s priority date must be current under the “final action cut-off date” before USCIS can finally approve the application.

Applicants who will become eligible to file immigrant applications in January may initiate applications with their Foster attorney now to plan for the earliest possible filing date in the month of January.