Effective August 1, the availability of employment-based visa numbers experienced significant setbacks across the board. Among the most notable developments are the following:
Visa numbers will no longer be current in the Worldwide EB-2 and EB-3 categories. Instead, cut-off dates will be established.
The EB-2 category will have a cut-off date of January 1, 2017 and the EB-3 category will have a cut-off date of July 1, 2016. The EB-1 category has also regressed further, to July 1, 2016.
While I-140 Immigrant Visa Petitions seeking to qualify in one of these categories can continue to be filed, only applicants who have established a “Priority Date” * prior to the cut-off date can file an Adjustment of Status (I-485) application and obtain the associated benefits of an Employment Authorization and Advance Parole document.
Applicants in these categories chargeable to the Worldwide quota who have a Priority Date after the cut-off date who are otherwise eligible must file their I-485 during the month of July 2019, or face waiting until their date is again reached.
Applicants considering filing a concurrent EB-2 Visa Petition and Adjustment of Status application based, for example, on a National Interest Waiver, also must do so during this month to avoid an indeterminate delay before the numbers again become current. It is impossible to predict when this will happen.
Applicants born in China, India and other countries which already had established cut-off dates in these categories saw some further regression in several of the categories.
The August Visa Bulletin may be viewed on the Department of State website at www.travel.state.gov.
Please contact our office if you have any questions.
*a Priority Date is established by the filing of a PERM Labor Certification Application which is eventually approved, or the filing of an I-140 Immigrant Visa Petition in those cases where a Labor Certification is not required.