In the newly released 2018 visa bulletin, EB-2 and EB-3 visas have remained at the dates set in last month’s visa bulletin, after it was restored to current in October after retrogressing for almost 2 years in September’s bulletin. Every year, Congress sets limits on the number of immigrant visas that can be issued each year. In order to adjust status to that of a legal permanent resident, also known as a Green Card holder, an immigrant visa must be available to the applicant both at the time of filing and at the time of adjudication. Visa retrogression happens when a country’s visa allowance is not “current”, but rather a cutoff date is imposed on its applicants. The Department of State publishes a monthly Visa Bulletin which lists the cutoff dates that govern visa availability. It determines which applicants are eligible to file for adjustment of status, as well as which applicants are eligible for permanent resident status. Applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cutoff date published in the most current Visa Bulletin are eligible to apply for permanent residence.
EB-2 and EB-3 visas for most countries have remained at the same current time, EB-2 in China have advanced for more than one month to May 15, 2015. EB-3 for the Philippines advanced one week to June 8, 2017. Visa availability for non-Regional Centers EB-5 applications for Vietnam has advanced one week to February 1, 2016, visa availability for Chinese applicants has remained at the same time at August 15, 2014. EB-1 for all countries remain retrogressed at the same date as last month, April 4, 2017.
Congress has temporarily extended the EB-4 and EB-5 programs until December 7, 2018 as federal budget negotiations continue.