In the newly released December visa bulletin, EB-2 and EB-3 visas for most countries have been restored to current after being regressed for a month in the November bulletin. EB-2 and EB-3 have remained at the same current time, EB-2 in China have advanced for more than six weeks to July 1, 2015 and India has advanced to April 1, 2009. EB-3 for the Philippines advanced one week to June 15, 2017. EB-1 categories for all countries remain regressed. EB-1 for China and India have advanced to September 1, 2016, and for all over countries to July 1, 2017. The EB-5 Regional Center Program along with the EB-4 Non-Minister Religious Worker program are both set to expire on December 7, 2018 with the continuing budget resolution. Unless Congress reauthorizes these programs by December 7, immigrant visas in these categories will become unavailable from that date.
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.
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