The Department of State's Visa Bulletin for January 2019

shows significant progress in the EB-1 category for all

chargeability areas, as well as in the EB-3 and Other Workers India

categories. Other priority dates remain Current or backlogged with

little to no movement.

Continuing its policy since the September 2018 Visa Bulletin,

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) confirmed that

adjustment-of-status applications may be filed based on the filing

cut-off dates rather than the final action cut-off dates.

Many applicants and their dependent family members physically

residing in the United States whose priority dates are

significantly backlogged continue to benefit from this policy to be

able to receive employment authorization documents and advance

parole documents, and to potentially become eligible sooner for

immigrant visa portability to change jobs while their

employment-based adjustment of status is pending.

Although USCIS will continue to accept adjustment of status

applications under the typically earlier filing cut-off dates, the

applicant's priority date must be current under the “final

action cut-off date” before USCIS can finally approve the

application.

The changes in the Final Action Cut-Off Dates from the December

2018 to the January 2019 Visa Bulletin include:

  • EB-1: All Chargeability Areas (except China and

    India)—Forward progress of three months to October 1,

    2017

  • EB-1: China and India—Forward progress of three months

    and two weeks, to December 15, 2016

  • EB-2: China—Forward progress of two weeks to August 1,

    2015

  • EB-3: Philippines—Forward progress of one week to June

    22, 2017

  • Other Workers: China—Forward progress of one month to

    July 1, 2007

  • Other Workers: Philippines—Forward progress of one week

    to June 22, 2017

  • EB-5: China—Forward progress of one week to September 1,

    2014

  • EB-5: Vietnam—Forward progress of one month to June 1,

    2016

In both the EB-5 Regional Center and the EB-5 Non-Regional

Center categories, the “Filing Cut-Off Dates” are Current

for applicants born in all countries except for mainland China,

which is backlogged to October 1, 2014, allowing for filing of

adjustment-of-status applications for those with approved I-526

petitions who are residing in the United States.

In the EB-5 Non-Regional Center category, the “Final Action

Dates” are current for all countries except China and Vietnam,

which continue to be backlogged but with slight forward movement:

currently backlogged at September 1, 2014, for China, and June 1,

2016, for Vietnam. However, the “Final Action Dates” for

the EB-5 Regional Center category for all countries are

“Unavailable” and immigrant visas cannot be issued right

now because of the partial government shutdown discussed in the

next article.

Applicants whose priority dates are backlogged should review the

filing cut-off dates in the bulletin to determine if they may be

eligible to file during the month of January. Applicants who will

become eligible to file immigrant visa applications in January

should initiate applications now with their Alliance of Business

Immigration Lawyers attorney to plan for the earliest possible

filing date.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general

guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought

about your specific circumstances.

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