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September 2018 Visa Bulletin Released

August 8, 2018

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

As the fiscal year 2018 comes to a close, next month’s visa bulletin announces significant retrogression in mostly all employment-based categories, particularly the EB-2 and EB-3 worldwide categories, both providing a cut-off date for the month of September 2018. These categories were both current in earlier months.

This retrogression trend, across all countries and categories, is most likely due to the limited number of visas available in employment-based categories for the remainder of the 2018 fiscal year. Based on observations from previous years, we anticipate that these categories will revert back to their earlier status at the start of the new fiscal year, on October 1, 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 August, 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 September. 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 September 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 June 1, 2016. These categories have advanced by 1 month.
  • 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 current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of January 1, 2013. These categories have retrogressed. 
  • 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, 2013. This category retrogressed by 2 years 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 January 1, 2007This category retrogressed by 2 years 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 current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of November 1, 2016. These categories have retrogressed. 
  • Persons in the EB-3 category and born in China are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of November 1, 2014This category advanced by 4 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, 2003This category retrogressed 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 November 1, 2016This category retrogressed 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 advanced by 7 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 15, 2016This category advanced by 7 days. 
  • Persons in the EB-4 category and born in India are current if they have a priority date before the cut-off date of February 15, 2016This category advanced by 7 days. 
  • 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 8, 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 August 8, 2014This category advanced by 7 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

  • 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 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. 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 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 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 September 2018 can be found here.