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July 2018 Visa Bulletin Released

June 15, 2018

The U.S. Department of State has released the July 2018 Visa Bulletin. 

The EB-1 categories for India and China remain with a cut-off date of January 1, 2012; these categories remain unchanged from last month’s visa bulletin and are expected to revert back to current on October 1, 2018, at the start of the new fiscal year. 

Some notable changes in the July 2018 include the retrogression of the EB-3 China category to January 1, 2013, while EB-2 China advances to January 1, 2015, moving the EB-2 China category ahead of the EB-3 China. This trend is known in practice as the China EB-3 Downgrade Phenomenon, as explained in a previous edition of our Special Alert. With the influx of petitions being submitted in the EB-3 China category in the past months, the number of visas available in this category is now limited, allowing the EB-2 China category to advance.

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 June, USCIS has made a determination to use the Final Action Dates chart for employment-based categories, but for family-based categories is accepting applications based on the Dates of Filing chart. 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 July. EIG will continue to monitor the situation and provide an update when USCIS has made a determination. For more information, please visit the USCIS website.

The July 2018 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 currentThis category remains 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 January 1, 2012. 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 January 1, 2012This category remains unchanged. 
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 currentThis category remains 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 January 1, 2015. This category advanced by 4 months. 
  • Persons in the EB-2 category and born in India are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of March 15, 2009This category advanced by 2 months.
EB-3
  • Persons in the EB-3 category and born in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Vietnam, or in the worldwide quota are currentThis category remains 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, 2013This category retrogressed by 2 years 5 months. 
  • Persons in the EB-3 category and born in India are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of November 1, 2008This category advanced by 6 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 January 1, 2017This category remains unchanged. 
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 8, 2016This category advanced by 1 month 24 days. 
  • Persons in the EB-4 category and born in Mexico are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of February 8, 2016This category retrogressed by 8 months 14 days. 
  • Persons in the worldwide quota, China, India, the Philippines or Vietnam 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 August 1, 2014This category remains unchanged. 
  • 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 August 1, 2014This category remains unchanged.
  • 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

  • All countries are currentThis 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 currentThis category remains 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 April 1, 2015This category advanced by 2 months. 
  • 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 advanced by 1 month 21 days. 
EB-3
  • Persons in the EB-3 category and born in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, or in the worldwide quota are current. This category remains 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 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 May 1, 2009This category advanced by 8 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 July 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 advanced by 16 days. 
  • 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 advanced by 1 month. 
  • Persons in the worldwide quota, India, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, or the Philippines are current. This category remains unchanged.
The complete Visa Bulletin for July 2018 can be found here.