In the newly released 2018 visa bulletin, EB-2 and EB-3 visas have restored to current worldwide expect for China, the Philippines, and India after it was retrogressed 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.
September was the last month of Fiscal Year 2018, all of the EB-1 and 2 visas being used caused the two visas to be retrogressed back 2 years. With the start of FY 2019 and new visa allowances introduced, the two visas have once again become current worldwide for all countries expect for China, the Philippines, and India. EB-2 for China has advanced 2 years to April 2015 and India to March 2009. EB-3 for China has advanced 6 months to June 2015, 6 years for India to January 2009, and 6 months for the Philippines to June 2017.
The EB-4 Non-Minister Religious Worker and EB-5 Regional Center programs are set to expire on September 30, 2018. Unless Congress reauthorizes these programs or passes a temporary spending measure, immigrant visas in these EB-4 and EB-5 subcategories will become unavailable in October. The EB-5 non-Regional Center program will not be affected.
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