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September 2019 Visa Bulletin – Further Retrogression for China and India, Significant Movement Forward for All Other Chargeability Areas

19 Aug

Click here to view 2019 September Visa Bulletin. 

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) published the Monthly Visa Bulletin for September 2019, showing further retrogression or unavailability in preference categories for China and India as well as significant movement forward for all other chargeability areas.

China or India born beneficiaries of employment-based immigrant petitions who are eligible to file adjustment of status applications under the August Visa Bulletin are recommended to review filing their applications before the end of August if their priority dates will retrogress in September. 

Significant Worldwide Retrogression Since the June Visa Bulletin

In the June Visa Bulletin, the EB-1 category retrogressed for India to January 1, 2015 and, as anticipated, showed no movement in the Visa Bulletins for July and August and further retrogression in September to now be Unavailable. This is attributed to an increased number of petitions and applications filed under the EB-1 category. These EB-1 filings are due to significant backlogs for India-born applicants under the EB-2 and EB-3 categories. This retrogression is anticipated to be temporary but should last until the beginning of the next fiscal year on October 1, 2019, when EB-1 India is anticipated to move forward to February 22, 2017.

In the July Visa Bulletin, the EB-5 preference category similarly retrogressed for India to May 1, 2017, with the anticipation that the category will move forward significantly on October 1, 2019, but the September Visa Bulletin shows that this preference category has already moved forward due to the U.S. Department of State updating its expectations for immigrant visa usage.

In the August Visa Bulletin, all remaining preference categories and chargeability areas, which were not already significantly backlogged, retrogressed significantly. This was attributed to an increased number of petitions and applications filed under all of the preference categories, and this retrogression is anticipated to be temporary but should last until the beginning of the next fiscal year on October 1, 2019. The September Visa Bulletin already reflects forward movement in some categories due to the U.S. Department of State updating its expectations for immigrant visa usage.

Despite some movement forward before October 2019, the September Visa Bulletin does show further retrogression for China and India.  For this reason, China or India born beneficiaries of employment-based immigrant petitions who are eligible to file adjustment of status applications under the August Visa Bulletin are recommended to review filing before the end of August if their priority dates will retrogress in September.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) confirmed on its website that beneficiaries of employment-based immigrant petitions whose priority dates become current in September 2019 should continue to use the “Final Action Dates,” or priority dates, when filing during the month of September 2019.  In the recent past during certain months, CIS had accepted employment-based immigrant visa applications filed based on the “Dates for Filing” dates, which were typically earlier or sooner than the priority dates.

Beneficiaries of employment-based immigrant petitions who may become eligible to file adjustment of status applications in September are recommended to start preparation of these applications as soon as possible with their Foster immigration attorney to plan for the earliest possible filing date in the month of September. Beneficiaries of employment-based immigrant petitions who are eligible to file adjustment of status applications now under the August Visa Bulletin are also recommended to contact their Foster immigration attorney if not already contacted for filing and USCIS receipt by August 30, if their priority dates will retrogress in September.

Foster LLP will continue to monitor immigrant visa availability and send updates through future Immigration Updates© and via our website at www.fosterglobal.com.