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June 2017 Visa Bulletin – Significant Retrogression for EB-1 China and India

19 May

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) published the Monthly Visa Bulletin for June 2017, which shows a retrogression of the “Final Action Cut Off” dates of over five (5) years for EB-1 China and India to January 1, 2012.  Adjustment of Status applications (Form I-485) for EB-1 China and India applicants must be filed before May 31, 2017, while the May 2017 Visa Bulletin with “Current” priority dates are effective, unless USCIS allows applicants to file under the “Filing Cut Off” dates, which are Current for June. It is anticipated that with the new allotment of visas at the beginning of the fiscal year in October 2017, EB-1 China and India Final Action Cut Off dates will become current again.  The June 2017 Visa Bulletin also shows minor advancement in the “final action cut-off” dates but no movement in the “filing cut-off” dates. Final Action Cut-off Dates Notable advancements of final action dates are:

  • EB-1 China – Retrogression from Current to 01 Jan 2012 due to reaching annual cap. Immigrant Visas should become available again at the beginning of the next fiscal year on October 1, 2017.
  • EB-1 India – Retrogression from Current to 01 Jan 2012 due to reaching annual cap. Immigrant Visas should become available again at the beginning of the next fiscal year on October 1, 2017.
  • EB-2 China – 3 weeks forward to 01 Mar 2013.
  • EB-3 China – no movement.
  • Other Workers China – 4 months, 1 week forward to 15 Jul 2006.
  • EB-2 India – 1 week forward to 01 Jul 2008.
  • EB-3 India – 3 weeks forward to 15 May 2005.
  • EB-3 & Other Workers El Salvador, Guatemala & Honduras – 1 month forward to 15 Apr 2017.
  • EB-3 & Other Workers Mexico – 1 month forward to 15 Apr 2017.
  • EB-3 & Other Workers Philippines – 4 months forward to 01 May 2013.
  • EB-3 & Other Workers – Worldwide – 1 month forward to 15 Apr 2017.

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 one (1) week, to June 8, 2014, and a filing date of September 1, 2014. Filing Cut-off Dates As Foster noted in prior Immigration Updates, the “filing cut-off dates” did not change between the December 2016 and April 2017 Visa Bulletins, but significant movement was noted in the May 2017 Visa Bulletin. The cut-off dates remain the same in this bulletin as for May 2017.  It is unclear at this time whether or not a pattern of significant movement of these dates will continue every six (6) months.

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 and April, the final action dates were the applicable dates.

June 2017 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based Filing Cut-off Dates
Employment-Based PreferenceAll Chargeability
Areas Except Those Listed
CHINA-Mainland BornEl Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
1stFiling Cut-off Date C C CC C C
Final Action Cut-Off DateC01JAN12
Backward 5 Years 5 Months
C01JAN12
Backward 5 Years 5 Months
CC
2ndFiling Cut-off Date C 01OCT13
Same
C01FEB09
Same
C C
Final Action Cut-off DateC01MAR13
Forward 3 Weeks
C01JUL08
Forward 1 Week
CC
3rdFiling Cut-off Date C 01SEP15
Same
C22APR06
Same
C 01JUL14
Same
Final Action Cut-off Date15APR17
Forward 1 Month
01OCT14
Same
15APR17
Forward 1 Month
15MAY05
Forward 3 Weeks
15APR17
Forward 1 Month
01MAY13
Forward 4 Months
Other WorkersFiling cut-off Date C 01JUN08
Same
C22APR06
Same
C 01JUL14
Same
Final Action Cut-off Date15APR17
Forward 1 Month
15JUL06
Forward 4 Months 1 Week
15APR17
Forward 1 Month
15MAY05
Forward 3 Weeks
15APR17
Forward 1 Month
01MAY13
Forward 4 Months

Contact Foster As Soon As Possible to Proceed with New Applications

Applicants under the EB-1 category who were born in China or India and wish to concurrently file I-485 Applications to Adjust Status with a qualifying EB-1 immigrant petition, or would like to file an I-485 Application based on a pending EB-1 petition, should contact their Foster attorney in order to prepare and file the application before June 1st.  Those with priority dates established by earlier EB-2 immigrant petitions generally are eligible to retain the earlier priority date.  If that earlier priority date is earlier in time than the new EB-1 cut-off date listed above, the temporary retrogression in EB-1 availability for India and China should not impact their ability to file an I-485 Application concurrently with an EB-1 I-140 petition.  Those applicants would still be eligible to file their applications after June 1st.

Applicants who become eligible to file applications beginning June 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 now, applicants could be in a position to file for Lawful Permanent Residency as soon as they are eligible on June 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.