October 2017 Visa Bulletin Category

The October 2017 Visa Bulletin was released this morning. Most notably, all EB1 priority dates returned to current as did EB2 priority dates for countries other than India and China. F4 returned for all countries other than China, India, the Philippines, and Mexico returned to its pre-retrogression priority while F4 India advanced beyond its pre-retrogression priority date. Finally, EB3 China advanced following its retrogression but remained nine months behind its pre-retrogression priority date. If you are now eligible to file your adjustment of status, you can go ahead and file it. If you need help, feel free to contact us at info@watsonimmigrationlaw.com.

October 2017

For all countries except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico: F2A category priority date advances 21 days to 22 October 2015, F2B preference advances 7 days to a PD of 8 November 2010, F4 category advances 858 days to 8 May 2004 PD (the priority date before last month’s retrogression); EB 1 remains current; EB2 returns to current, advancing 639 days; and EB3 remains current.

For India only:  F2A category advances 22 days with the priority date 21 October 2015, F2B preference advances 7 days to a PD of 8 November 2010, F4 advances 638 days to a PD of 1 October 2003 (9 days beyond last month’s retrogression date); EB1 returns to current, advancing 2100 days; EB2 advances 24 days to a PD of 15 September 2008; EB3 remains at a PD of 15 October 2006.

For China Only: EB1 returns to current, advancing 2100 days; EB2 advances 7 days to 22 May 2013; after previously retrogressing, EB3 advances 731 days to a PD of 1 January 2014 (273 days behind 1 October 2014, the priority date before the retrogression; Non-Regional Center and Regional Center advance 7 days to a PD of 22 June 2014.

Can file your immigrant applications if PD before:

F2A 1 November 2016; F2B 1 September 2011; F4 15 November 2004 for All Areas except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico and 22 June 2004 for India

EB1 is current for all countries; EB2 All Countries except India and China are current; EB3 All countries except China, India, and the Philippines are current; EB2 India advances to 8 February 2009; EB3 India advances to 1 January 2008 EB2 China advances to 1 November 2013; EB3 China remains at 1 September 2015; EB5 China (RC and non-RC) advances to 1 October 2014

*If you have any questions or comments, you are welcome to get in touch with us. Please email us at info@watsonimmigrationlaw.com 

**Copyright 2017 by Watson Immigration Law. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Notes copied from the Department of State regarding Visa availability:

D.  SPECIAL IMMIGRANT (SI) TRANSLATOR CATEGORY VISA AVAILABILITY

Given the limited availability of visa numbers and the existing demand, the Department expects to reach the FY-2018 annual limit of 50 Special Immigrant Visas in the SI category early in the Fiscal Year.  As a result, it has been necessary to establish an October Final Action Date of April 1, 2010.  It is likely that number use will require the SI category to become “unavailable” in the coming months.  Once the annual limit of 50 visas is reached, further issuances in the SI category will not be possible until October 2018, under the FY-2019 annual limit.  The SQ Special Immigrant Visa category for certain Iraqi and Afghan nationals employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq or Afghanistan is not affected and remains current.

E.   EXTENSION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT VISA CATEGORIES

HR 601 — Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017 extended both the Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR) and Employment Fifth Preference Pilot (I5 and R5) Categories until December 8, 2017.

F.   VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS

FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)

Worldwide dates:

F1:  Up to several months
F2A: Up to one month
F2B: Up to one month
F3:  Three or four weeks
F4:  Two or three weeks

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)

Employment First:   The category will remain “Current”.

Employment Second:

Worldwide:  Current

China:      Up to four weeks

India:      Up to one month

Employment Third:

Worldwide:  Current

China:         Up to four months

India:          Limited forward movement

Mexico:       Current

Philippines:  Up to two months

Employment Fourth: Current for most countries.

El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras: Up to three weeks

Mexico: some forward movement

Employment Fifth:  The category will remain “Current” for most countries.

China-mainland born:  Up to one week

The above final action date projections for the Family and Employment categories indicate what is likely to happen on a monthly basis through January based on current applicant demand patterns.  Readers should never assume that recent trends in final action date movements are guaranteed for the future, or that “corrective” action will not be required at some point in an effort to maintain number use within the applicable annual limits.  The determination of the actual monthly final action dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables.