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October 2018 Visa Bulletin Released

September 12, 2018

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the October 2018 Visa Bulletin just moments ago.

In anticipation of the new fiscal year, next month’s visa bulletin announces some positive changes for the EB-2 and EB-3 categories for certain countries – worldwide, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Vietnam – removing the cut-off dates implemented by the September 2018 visa bulletin, and reverting these categories back to current. Advances are also observed for EB-2 and EB-3 India and China categories, in comparison to cut-off dates adopted in the September 2018 visa bulletin.

As previously reported based on the DOS’s predictions, the EB-1 retrogression for all countries is expected to last longer than normal this year and these categories are likely to see limited advances prior to December 2018.

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 September, 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 October. 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 October 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 current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of April 1, 2017. These categories have advanced by 10 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 June 1, 2016. This category advanced by 4 years 5 months. 
  • Persons in the EB-1 category and born in India are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of June 1, 2016. This category advanced by 4 years 5 months. 
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 reverted back to being current. 
  • 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, 2015. This category advanced by 2 years 3 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 26, 2009This category advanced by 2 years 2 months 25 days. 
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 reverted back to being current. 
  • 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 1, 2015This category advanced by 7 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 January 1, 2009This category advanced by 6 years. 
  • 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 1, 2017This category advanced by 7 months. 
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 15, 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 October 22, 2016This category advanced by 8 months 7 days. 
  • Persons in the EB-4 category and born in India are current. These categories reverted back to being current.  
  • Persons in the worldwide quota, China, 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 15, 2014This category advanced by 7 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 January 1, 2016This category advanced by 1 year 4 months 24 days.
  • 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 have retrogressed. 
  • 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 has retrogressed. 
  • 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 has retrogressed. 
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 June 15, 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 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. 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 August 8, 2015This category retrogressed by 4 months 24 days.
  • Persons in the EB-3 category and born in India are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of October 1, 2009This category advanced by 5 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 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. This category remains unchanged.
The complete Visa Bulletin for October 2018 can be found here.