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January 2019 Visa Bulletin Released

December 13, 2018

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the January 2019 Visa Bulletin today.

The January visa bulletin sees little advances in certain categories, while others remain unchanged. Contrary to our previous predictions, the EB-1 categories continue to have a cut-off date in January with no mention from the Department of State as to when we can expect these categories to revert back to current. At this time we have no indication as to when the EB-1 categories, which have historically been current and offering a faster route to the employment-based green card, will become current again. On the other hand, EB-3 India and China continue to move ahead of their EB-2 counterparts in the Dates for filing chart B.

The EIG team is closely monitoring changes to the monthly visa bulletin and determining the best plan of action for each case. We will be reaching out to individuals whose priority date will be current next month in order to initiate the next step of the green card process. We have also summarized frequently asked questions in our August 8th Issue of the EIG Dispatch. We encourage you to read this article to have a better grasp of the visa bulletin and to understand what your priority date means.

PLEASE NOTE: For the month of December, USCIS has made a determination to accept applications based on the Dates for Filing chart (Chart B) for both employment-based categories and family-based categories. At this time, USCIS has not announced whether it will be accepting pre-filings for any employment-based or family-based categories for the month of January. EIG will continue to monitor the situation and provide an update once USCIS has made a determination. For more information, please visit the USCIS website.

The January 2019 Visa Bulletin can be found here and is summarized below:

Application Final Action Dates (dates when visas may be issued)

EB-1
  • Persons in the EB-1 category and born in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, the Philippines, Vietnam, or in the worldwide quota are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of October 1, 2017. These categories advanced by 3 months.
  • Persons in the EB-1 category and born in China are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of December 15, 2016. This category advanced by 3 months 14 days.
  • Persons in the EB-1 category and born in India are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of December 15, 2016. This category advanced by 3 months 14 days.
EB-2
  • Persons in the EB-2 category and born in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, the Philippines, Vietnam, or in the worldwide quota are current. These categories remain unchanged.
  • Persons in the EB-2 category and born in China are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of August 1, 2015. This category advanced by 1 month. 
  • Persons in the EB-2 category and born in India are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of April 1, 2009This category remains unchanged.
EB-3
  • Persons in the EB-3 category and born in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Vietnam, or in the worldwide quota are current. These categories remain unchanged.
  • Persons in the EB-3 category and born in China are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of June 8, 2015This category remains unchanged. 
  • Persons in the EB-3 category and born in India are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of March 1, 2009This category remains unchanged. 
  • Persons in the EB-3 category and born in the Philippines are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of June 22, 2017This category advanced by 7 days. 
EB-4
  • Persons in the EB-4 category and born in El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of February 22, 2016This category remains unchanged.
  • Persons in the EB-4 category and born in Mexico are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of April 15, 2017This category advanced by 3 months 14 days. 
  • Persons in the worldwide quota, China, India, the Philippines or Vietnam are currentThese categories remain unchanged.

EB-5

  • Persons in the EB-5 Non-Regional Center (C5 and T5) category and born in China are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of September 1, 2014This category advanced by 10 days.
  • Persons in the EB-5 Non-Regional Center (C5 and T5) category and born in Vietnam are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of June 1, 2016This category advanced by 1 month. 
  • Persons in the worldwide quota, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico, or the Philippines are currentThis category remains unchanged.

Dates for Filing Applications (earliest dates when applicants may be able to apply)

EB-1

  • Persons in the EB-1 category and born in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, the Philippines, Vietnam, or in the worldwide quota are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of June 1, 2018. These categories remain unchanged.
  • Persons in the EB-1 category and born in China are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of October 1, 2017. This category remains unchanged.
  • Persons in the EB-1 category and born in India are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of October 1, 2017. This category remains unchanged.
EB-2
  • Persons in the EB-2 category and born in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, the Philippines, or in the worldwide quota are currentThese categories remain unchanged. 
  • Persons in the EB-2 category and born in China are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of September 8, 2015This category remains unchanged. 
  • Persons in the EB-2 category and born in India are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of May 22, 2009This category remains unchanged. 
EB-3
  • Persons in the EB-3 category and born in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, or in the worldwide quota are current. These categories remain unchanged. 
  • Persons in the EB-3 category and born in China are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of January 1, 2016This category advanced by 1 month. 
  • Persons in the EB-3 category and born in India are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of April 1, 2010This category advanced by 3 months.
  • Persons in the EB-3 category and born in the Philippines are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of August 1, 2017This category remains unchanged.
EB-4 
  • Persons in the worldwide quota, El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of May 1, 2016This category remains unchanged. 
  • Persons in the worldwide quota, China, India, Mexico or the Philippines are currentThis category remains unchanged.
EB-5
  • Persons in the EB-5 Non-Regional Center (C5 and T5) category and born in China are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of October 01, 2014. This category remains unchanged. 
  • Persons in the worldwide quota, India, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, or the Philippines are current. These categories remain unchanged.
The complete Visa Bulletin for January 2019 can be found here.