US:October 2018 Visa Bulletin

Sep 18, 2018

In Brief

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released the Visa Bulletin for October 2018, which has announced significant advancement in the availability of employment-based immigrant numbers for the month of October. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will be using the “Dates for Filing” chart for both family-based and employment-based categories, which is a departure from the more commonly used “Final Action Dates” for employment-based categories. This development will allow for several adjustment of status applicants to file their cases earlier than previously anticipated.

Discussion

Each month, DOS releases its Visa Bulletin which summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers. Since October marks the beginning of the fiscal year, it is common for there to be significant advancement of immigrant number availability announced on the October Visa Bulletin. This year’s October Visa Bulletin marked major advancement in a number of categories, as described in detail below.

In addition, USCIS has the authority to decide whether it will use the “Final Action Dates” chart or the “Date for Filing” chart in determining when adjustment of status applicants may file their Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Typically, USCIS uses the “Final Action Dates” for employment-based categories. However, for October 2018, USCIS has announced that it will be using the “Dates for Filing” chart instead. This change allows for more applicants to be eligible to file their I-485 applications in the month of October than had previously been anticipated.

Specific to employment-based categories, the new dates on the “Dates for Filing” chart are as follows (please note that China refers to mainland born):

  • EB-1: All countries, except China and India, have advanced by two years to June 1, 2018. China and India have both advanced by over five years to October 1, 2017.
  • EB-2: All countries, except China and India, are current. China has advanced by over two years to June 15, 2015, while India has advanced by over two years to May 22, 2009.
  • EB-3: (Professional and Skilled Workers): All countries, except for China, India, and the Philippines, are current. China has advanced by over 9 months to August 8, 2015, India has advanced by over 6 years to October 1, 2009, and the Philippines has advanced by 8 months to July 1, 2017.
  • EB-3: (Other Workers): All countries, except for China, India, and the Philippines, are current. China has advanced by over one year to June 1, 2018, India has advanced by over 6 years to October 1, 2009, and the Philippines has advanced by 8 months to July 1, 2017.

Impact and Discussion

Individuals with an approved I-140 based on any of the above categories should review their priority date to determine whether they are eligible to apply for adjustment of status in the month of October. Those eligible for concurrent I-140 and I-485 filings should speak with counsel regarding the best strategy for their particular case.

For further details regarding this or any other immigration matter, please be sure to contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.

 

Contact us

Janet L. Bomza
Partner, National Practice Leader - Immigration, PwC Law LLP
Tel: +1 416 598 8849
Email

Melodie Molina
Partner, Canadian Immigration, PwC Law LLP
Tel: +1 416 598 8849
Email

Mark C. Dey
Partner, US Immigration, PwC Law LLP
Tel: +1 416 598 8849
Email

Monika Szabo
Partner, US Immigration, PwC Law LLP
Tel: +1 416 687 8580
Email