Update: The April 2018 Visa Bulletin was released yesterday. For this month, the most notable movement is the retrogression for the employment-based first preference category (EB-1) for Indian and Chinese nationals. That category, which had been current in the March Visa Bulletin, has retrogressed to January 1, 2012.
Impact: Starting April 1, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will no longer accept I-485 applications for Chinese and Indian nationals whose priority dates are beyond 2012. USCIS will continue to accept I-140 applications and will continue to adjudicate pending I-140s, but pending I-485 applications for the EB-1 China & India categories will be placed on hold. USCIS will resume processing these applications once the priority dates become “current.”
EIG Analysis: Based on our experience with similar EB-1 retrogressions, we expect the priority dates for all EB-1s to return to “current” after October 1, 2018, when additional visas become available with the start of the government’s fiscal year.
Background: Retrogression occurs when more people from a specific country apply for a specific visa category than there are visas available for that country. This is not the first time the EB-1 category has retrogressed. Similar retrogressions occurred in 2016. That year, the EB-1 category for Chinese and Indian nationals returned to “current” in October. We expect the same to occur this year.
– Pending I-140s will continue to be adjudicated.
– Pending I-485s for the affected groups with priority dates before 2012 will be placed on hold, put back into processing once the priority dates become current.
– Those who are eligible for AC-21 extension benefits based on pending petitions will remain eligible for those benefits.