January 2019 Visa Bulletin: EB1 Advances, but EB2 and EB3 India Remain Unchanged
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released the January 2019 Visa Bulletin. There is a bit of movement for the employment-based, first preference (EB1) category. For the employment-based, second preference (EB2) and employment-based, third preference (EB3) categories, however, there is almost no movement. All cutoff dates referenced refer to the dates in the final action (FA) chart, unless otherwise specified.
Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1) Category
The cutoff dates in the EB1 category for India and China move to December 15, 2016. For all other countries of chargeability, the cutoff date is set at October 1, 2017.
Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) Category
In January, EB2 for India remains at April 1, 2009. EB2 China, meanwhile, moves ahead by a month, to August 1, 2015.
Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Category
Both EB3 India and China remain at their previous dates, March 1, 2009 and June 8, 2015 respectively. EB3 for the Philippines advances by one week, to June 22, 2017.
EB3 Other Workers
With the exception of China, the cutoff dates for EB3 other workers are the same for each country as their respective EB3 cutoff date. For China, the cutoff date for EB3 other workers moves forward by a month and is now July 1, 2007.
Employment-Based, Fourth Preference (EB4) Category
In the EB4 category, not including those for certain religious workers, EB4 Mexico advances to April 15, 2017. EB4 for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras remains at February 22, 2016. The category remains current for all other countries.
Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5) Category
For non-regional center cases, EB5 China remains at August 22, 2014. The EB5 Vietnam cutoff date moves up to June 1, 2016. The category remains current for all other countries.
EB4 Certain Religious Workers and EB5 Regional Center Presently Listed as “Unavailable”
Similar to the April 2018 Visa Bulletin, EB4 for certain religious workers and the EB5 category for regional center cases are listed as unavailable. This is because both categories are scheduled to expire on midnight of January 21, 2018. Both programs are routinely extended each time a government-funding bill is passed. Assuming a government shutdown again is avoided, the expectation is that these programs will be extended. Or, if a government shutdown does occur, the programs presumably will be renewed once a budget agreement finally is reached. Either way, if they are extended, the cutoff dates in January for certain religious workers will match those of the standard EB4 category; similarly, upon an extension of the program, the cutoff date for regional center cases will match those of non-regional center cases.