November 2017 Visa Bulletin – Modest Forward Advancement
by Foster LLP, on Immigration Updates
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) published the Monthly Visa Bulletin for November 2017, showing modest forward advancement in all employment-based categories except for EB-1, which remains current for all countries.
The EB-2 category continues to be current for applicants born in all countries other than India and China. There was only modest forward movement of three weeks for each China and India. The EB-3 category remains “current” for all countries except: China (forward 1 month to February 1, 2014); India (same as the September and October Visa Bulletins at October 15, 2006); and, the Philippines (forward 1.5 months to January 15, 2016). Other Workers China moved forward 3 months to April 1, 2006, and Other Workers Philippines moved forward 1.5 months to January 15, 2016. The EB-5 Category remains current for all countries except for mainland China, which remains backlogged to July 1, 2014.
As a reminder, in October 2015 the DOS began publishing two separate dates for backlogged employment-based immigrant preference categories, 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.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) separately confirmed that they will accept employment-based applications filed during November 2017 based on the “final action cut-off date.” The applicant’s priority date must be current under the “final action cut-off date” before USCIS can finally approve the application. USCIS will accept Family sponsored I-485 applications in November based on the “filing cut-off” date.
Applicants who will become eligible to file applications beginning in November should initiate their applications with their Foster attorneys now to ensure the earliest filing date possible in the month of November. Foster will continue to monitor immigrant visa availability and will provide updates as they become available via future Immigration Updates© and via Foster’s website at www.fosterglobal.com.