October 2019 Visa Bulletin Released
The Department of State (DOS) has issued its October 2019 Visa Bulletin. October 1 marks the start of the new fiscal year so all the visa categories benefit from new visa numbers. As a result, most categories see sizable movement.
Employment-based (“EB”) category 1 for all nationals (except for India and China) advances by six months. EB-1 for China moves forward nearly three years and EB-1 India goes from unavailable to January 1, 2015. The EB-2 category for all nationals is now current, except for China, which, unfortunately, has a two-year retrogression, and India, which advances by four days. The EB-3 category is current for all nationals except for China, which moves forward nearly two years; India, which moves forward three and a half years, and the Philippines, which moves forward by fifteen months.
Here’s a chart for ease of reference:
WHAT DATES IN THE VISA BULLETIN SHOULD YOU USE FOR FILING YOUR ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS APPLICATION WITH USCIS?
If USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, then USCIS will state here that you may use the Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin, which usually has dates earlier than the Final Action Dates noted above. Otherwise, USCIS will indicate on its website that you must use the Application Final Action Dates chart (above) to determine when you may file your adjustment of status application in the United States. For October 2019, USCIS has announced that the Dates for Filing chart may be used for employment-based filings, which is below.
If the priority date for your employment-based category is before the date listed above and you are in the United States, you may file your application to adjust status along with the applications for employment authorization and travel permission (assuming you have no bars to admissibility) with USCIS in October.
A FIVE-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE
For immigrant visa applicants in categories that are backlogged, understanding the long- term patterns may be helpful. Below is a chart showing the movement in the three categories over the last five years.
If you would like more information on how to understand the monthly visa bulletin, please check out our blog post here.
This alert is for informational purposes. If you would like to discuss these developments further, please do not hesitate to contact us.