The U.S. Department of State (DOS) published the Monthly Visa Bulletin for June 2018, reflecting minor progress of only four (4) days for EB-2 India and only one (1) week for EB-5 China and EB-5 Vietnam, along with no change in the other countries and preference categories.
The EB-1 category remains current for applicants born in all countries, except for China and India which retrogressed in the April 2017 Visa Bulletin by 6 years, 2 months, and 2 weeks from a current priority date in the Visa Bulletin for the month of March. The retrogression is attributed to a high demand of applicants from these countries reaching the per country quota already for this fiscal year. This retrogression is anticipated to be temporary but should last until the beginning of the next fiscal year on October 1, 2018.
The EB-2 category remains current other than China and India, which did not move forward for China but moved forward four (4) days for India.
The EB-3 and Other Workers categories remain “current” for all countries except China, India, and the Philippines, none of which showed any movement.
The EB-5 Category remains current for applicants born in all countries except for mainland China and Vietnam, which both remain backlogged to August 1, 2014, progressing one (1) week.
Beginning October 2015, the DOS began publishing two distinct 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 typically 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 preference category and country of birth. DOS indicated that unless otherwise indicated on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) website that CIS will accept employment-based applications filed based on the “final action cut-off date.”
CIS confirmed that the final action cut-off dates will continue to be used for employment-based preference filings for June 2018. The applicant’s priority date must be current under the “final action cut-off date” before CIS can finally approve the application.
Applicants who will become eligible to file immigrant applications in June should initiate applications now with their Foster attorney to plan for the earliest possible filing date in the month of June.