The EB-3 Employment-based immigration visa will be unavailable through to September 30, 2019 for all applicants worldwide. This is a result of the visa quota has been reaching the maximum for the fiscal year. The same retrogression occurred at around the same time last year.
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-3 visas are employment-based immigration visas that are eligible for people who are skilled worker, professional, or other worker.
- “Skilled workers” are persons whose job requires a minimum of 2 years training or work experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature
- “Professionals” are persons whose job requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent and are a member of the professions
- The “other workers” subcategory is for persons performing unskilled labor requiring less than 2 years training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature.
USCIS will continue to accept adjustment of status filings, however cases will be held for adjudication until visa numbers are available. The State Department is hopeful that the the newly retrogressed worldwide EB-3 categories will return to their August priority dates when the new fiscal year begins on October 1. The visa retrogression for Mainland China and India born applicants has remained the same as the September visa bulletin.
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