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November 2018 Visa Bulletin – Minor Forward Progress Only for EB-2 China, EB-3 and Other Workers Philippines, and EB-5 Vietnam

18 Oct

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) published the Monthly Visa Bulletin for November 2018, which reflected minor forward progress only for EB-2 China, EB-3 and Other Workers Philippines, and EB-5 Vietnam, with the remainder of the priority dates remaining current or backlogged.

Continued Earlier Dates for Filing AOS

Additionally, for the month of October 2018 and again for November 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) confirmed that it would accept adjustment of status applications filed based on the filing cut-off dates, rather than the final action cut-off dates.

This should continue to be a great benefit for many applicants and their dependent family members who are physically residing in the U.S. whose priority dates are significantly backlogged to be able to:

  1. Receive Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and Advance Parole Documents; and,
  2. Potentially become eligible sooner for immigrant visa portability.

Although CIS will begin accepting adjustment of status applications under the often earlier filing cut-off dates, the applicant’s priority date must be current under the “final action cut-off date” before CIS can finally approve the application.

November 2018 Visa Bulletin

The only changes from the October 2018 to November 2018 Visa Bulletin are:

  1. EB-2  China – Forward progress of one month, two weeks, to May 15, 2015
  2. EB-3 Philippines – Forward progress of one week to June 8, 2017
  3. Other Workers Philippines – Forward progress of one week to June 8, 2017
  4. EB-5 Vietnam – Forward progress of one month to February 1, 2016

In both the EB-5 Regional Center and the EB-5 Non Regional Center categories, the “Filing Cut Off Dates” are current for applicants born in all countries except for mainland China, which is backlogged to October 1, 2014, allowing for filing of adjustment of status applications for those with approved I-526 petitions who are residing in the U.S.

“Final Action Dates” for the EB-5 Regional Center category for all countries were “unavailable” and immigrant visas could not be issued in October, but for the month of November, the Final Action Dates reflect an update in availability to match EB-5 Non Regional Center. In the EB-5 Non Regional Center category, the “Final Action Dates” are current for all countries except China and Vietnam which continue to be backlogged without movement backlogged at August 15, 2014 for China and January 1, 2016 for Vietnam.

Applicants whose priority dates are backlogged are recommended to review the filing cut-off dates below to determine if they may be eligible to file during the month of November.

Applicants who will become eligible to file immigrant visa applications in November should also initiate applications now with their Foster immigration attorney to plan for the earliest possible filing date in the month of November. Foster LLP will continue to monitor visa availability and provide updates as they become available via Immigration Updates© on our website.