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September 2018 Visa Bulletin Update

The Visa Bulletin, a monthly publication released by the U.S. Department of State, provides the monthly processing priority dates for various immigrant petitions. Priority dates are critical as these dates determine when a foreign national may file his or her green card application. The Visa Bulletin for September shows further backlogs for most categories, regardless of their country of chargeability.

Since the publication of the August Visa Bulletin, USCIS, in an unprecedented move, has backlogged the 1st Employment-based category (EB-1A, EB-1B, and EB-1C) for all countries. Although most of the countries experienced a one-month advancement, all countries still remain backlogged. Current processing times for all countries except China and India remain at June 1, 2016. Foreign nationals born in China and India remain subject to a longer backlog, with a priority date of January 1, 2012. According to Department of State, priority dates for this category are unlikely to see significant movement prior to December of 2018.

Beginning September 1, 2018, the 2nd Employment-based category (EB-2) for all countries except for India will be backlogged with a priority date of January 1, 2013. Foreign nationals born in India will be subject to a longer backlog, with a priority date of January 1, 2007. According to the Visa Bulletin, this category is expected to become current in October for all countries, except for China and India. According to the Department of State, the priority date for the EB-2 category for foreign nationals born in China is expected to return to March 1, 2015, and for those born in India, the priority date is expected to return to March 15, 2009.

Beginning September 1, 2018, the 3rd Employment-based category (EB-3) for all countries except China and India will be backlogged with a priority date of November 1, 2016. Foreign nationals born in China and India will be subject to a longer backlog, with a priority date of November 1, 2014 and January 1, 2003, respectively. According to the Department of State, this category for all countries except China, India, and the Philippines may become current come October. Department of State also shared the following predictions for October:

  • The priority date for Chinese foreign nationals is expected to revert back to July 1, 2014.
  • The priority date for Indian foreign nationals is expected to revert back to January 1, 2009.
  • The priority date for foreign nationals from the Philippines is expected to revert back to June 1, 2017.

The immigration attorneys at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland PLLC are closely monitoring the Visa Bulletin as released. In the future months, close monitoring of the Visa Bulletin will be necessary in order to ensure timely filing whenever the applicable category becomes current. The September Visa Bulletin is available here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-for-september-2018.html.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Jen Chen can be reached at 206.654.2250 or chen@ryanlaw.com. 
Marsha Mavunkel can be reached at 206.654.2253 or mavunkel@ryanlaw.com.
Amy Royalty can be reached at 206-654-2260 or royalty@ryanlaw.com.
Joel Paget can be reached at 206.654.2215 or paget@ryanlaw.com.
Janet Cheetham can be reached at 206.654.2235 or cheetham@ryanlaw.com.
Cody Nunn can be reached at 206.654.2280 or nunn@ryanlaw.com.






This message has been released by the Immigration Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.

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