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The Visa Bulletin (February 2019)

The U.S. Division of State launched its Visa Bulletin for February 2019. That’s an enormous deal for those who’re ready on your priority date to be current in order that your green card software can move forward.

When you don’t know what a “visa bulletin” or a “priority date” is, we’ve received you coated. Start by testing the Boundless guide on How one can Learn the Visa Bulletin.

When you already understand these phrases, skip ahead to our abstract of key developments or to the submitting category that’s most relevant to you:

Household-based categories

Employment-based classes

Now let’s continue…

The Bottom Line

The February 2019 Visa Bulletin brings some new motion in wait occasions for both the family-based (“FB”) and employment-based (“EB”) inexperienced card categories. Listed here are the important thing developments:

  • Mexico continues to be the one nation within the family-based classes whose strains continue to stall, with no ahead motion for each youngsters and siblings of U.S. citizens, accounting for Three out of 5 classes. All others proceed to make regular progress.
  • Based on the American Immigration Legal professionals Affiliation (AILA) — as advised by Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division on the U.S. Department of State — the “Date for Filing” for Filipino siblings of U.S. residents (F-4) has leaped by almost 1 yr to “spur additional demand and encourage applicants to take action on their cases.” (See “Wonky technical note” under for extra information about “Dates for Filing” vs. “Final Action Dates.”)
  • Chinese language staff are the fixed in almost all employment-based classes, with extra delays in contrast with staff in some other nation with a backlog.
  • Indian staff in the EB-3 class at the moment are ahead of these in the EB-2 category by about 2 weeks. Oppenheim advised AILA that this is due to “the current overall low level of EB-3 Worldwide demand, which in turn is likely to make additional EB-3 numbers available for India.” Demand for Filipino staff within the EB-3 class can also be “below target demand.”
  • Based on Oppenheim, the Nationwide Visa Middle (NVC), which processes purposes filed abroad, is processing about 5% extra employment-based purposes than in fiscal yr 2018, when an upward development started displaying an elevated choice for consular submitting (making use of from overseas).

Wonky technical notice: This publish focuses on the “final action dates” within the Visa Bulletin as a result of these dates are most relevant for figuring out when candidates will finally obtain their inexperienced playing cards.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers broadcasts each month, nevertheless, whether or not candidates should file their “adjustment of status” purposes (those for immigrants already residing in america) based mostly on the “final action dates” or the “dates for filing.”

For such purposes filed in February, family-based applicants must use the “dates for filing,” whereas employment-based applicants should use the “final action dates” (both units of dates can be found on the State Division’s web site).

Read on for details…


Family-Based mostly Green Card Backlogs

F-1: single youngsters (age 21 and older) of U.S. residents

CountryCurrent Minimize-off DateEarlier Reduce-off DateChange in Wait TimeBasic Category22-Sep-1122-Aug-11–1 monthChina22-Sep-1122-Aug-11–1 monthIndia22-Sep-1122-Aug-11–1 monthMexico1-Aug-971-Aug-97No changePhilippines15-Mar-071-Mar-07–2 weeks

Most nations in this category proceed to move ahead, but Mexico makes no progress for the seventh consecutive month:

  • One-month advance for the overall category, China, and India
  • No ahead motion for Mexico
  • Two-week advance for the Philippines

F-2A: spouses and unmarried youngsters (underneath age 21) of U.S. inexperienced card holders

CountryNew Minimize-off DatePrevious Reduce-off DateChange in Wait Time
Common Category1-Dec-168-Nov-16–Three weeks, 2 days
China1-Dec-168-Nov-16–3 weeks, 2 days
India1-Dec-16Eight-Nov-16–Three weeks, 2 days
Mexico15-Nov-1615-Oct-16–1 month
Philippines1-Dec-168-Nov-16–Three weeks, 2 days

All nations transfer forward on this category, with Mexico making more progress than the remaining, a reversal of the earlier month:

  • More than 3-week advance for the overall class, China, India, and the Philippines
  • One-month advance for Mexico

F-2B: single youngsters (age 21 or older) of U.S. green card holders

NationNew Reduce-off DatePrevious Reduce-off DateChange in Wait TimeCommon Category1-Might-1215-Mar-12–1 month, 2 weeks, 2 daysChina1-Might-1215-Mar-12–1 month, 2 weeks, 2 daysIndia1-Might-1215-Mar-12–1 month, 2 weeks, 2 daysMexico22-Jun-978-Jun-97–2 weeksPhilippines1-Jul-0722-Jun-07–1 week, 2 days

The strains get shorter for all nations in this category, including Mexico, which made no progress in January:

  • Over 1.5-month advance for the overall category, China, and India
  • Two-week advance for Mexico
  • One-week advance for the Philippines

F-3: married youngsters of U.S. residents

NationNew Minimize-off DatePrevious Minimize-off DateChange in Wait TimeBasic Category22-Aug-0615-Aug-06–1 weekChina22-Aug-0615-Aug-06–1 weekIndia22-Aug-0615-Aug-06–1 weekMexico22-Dec-9522-Dec-95No changePhilippines22-Aug-9522-Jul-95–1 month

Most nations in this category proceed to advance, with strongest motion for the Philippines. Mexico stays at a standstill for the fifth month in a row:

  • One-week advance for the overall class, China, and India
  • No ahead movement for Mexico
  • One-month advance for the Philippines

F-4: siblings of U.S. residents

CountryNew Reduce-off DatePrevious Reduce-off DateChange in Wait TimeBasic Class22-Jun-0522-Might-05–1 monthChina22-Jun-0522-Might-05–1 monthIndia22-Jun-0415-Jun-04–1 weekMexico8-Feb-988-Feb-98No changePhilippines1-Oct-951-Sep-95–1 month

Most nations in this class proceed to advance, with weaker movement for India compared with the remaining. Mexico makes no progress for the third month in a row:

  • One-month advance for the overall class, China, and the Philippines
  • One-week advance for India
  • No motion for Mexico

Employment-Based mostly Inexperienced Card Backlogs

EB-1: extraordinary individuals, outstanding researchers and professors, and multinational executives and managers

CountryNew Reduce-off DatePrevious Minimize-off DateChange in Wait TimeCommon Class1-Dec-171-Oct-17–2 monthsChina8-Feb-1715-Dec-16–1 month, Three weeks, 3 daysCentral America1-Dec-171-Oct-17–2 monthsIndia8-Feb-1715-Dec-16–1 month, Three weeks, 3 daysMexico1-Dec-171-Oct-17–2 monthsPhilippines1-Dec-171-Oct-17–2 monthsVietnam1-Dec-171-Oct-17–2 months

Slightly weaker ahead motion than in January for everyone in this category, with China and India making less progress, a reversal of the previous month:

  • Two-month advance for the overall class, Central America, Mexico, the Philippines, and Vietnam
  • Almost 2-month advance for China and India

EB-2: exceptional individuals and superior degree holders

NationNew Minimize-off DatePrevious Minimize-off DateChange in Wait TimeBasic CategoryNo waitNo waitNo changeChina1-Oct-151-Aug-15–2 monthsCentral AmericaNo waitNo waitNo changeIndia6-Apr-091-Apr-09–5 daysMexicoNo waitNo waitNo changePhilippinesNo waitNo waitNo changeVietnamNo waitNo waitNo change

Principally good news on this class, with no strains for almost all nations besides China and India:

  • Dates remain current for the overall class, Central America, Mexico, the Philippines, and Vietnam — no wait, have fun!
  • Two-month advance for China
  • 5-day advance for India

EB-Three: bachelor’s diploma holders, expert staff, and unskilled staff

NationNew Minimize-off DatePrevious Reduce-off DateChange in Wait TimeCommon CategoryNo waitNo waitNo changeChina1-Jul-158-Jun-15–Three weeks, 2 daysCentral AmericaNo waitNo waitNo changeIndia22-Apr-091-Mar-09–1 month, 3 weeksMexicoNo waitNo waitNo changePhilippines1-Aug-1722-Jun-17–1 month, 1 week, 3 daysVietnamNo waitNo waitNo change

No strains for half of the nations on this category, plus the overall class, a development that started at first of the new fiscal yr. Strains for India and China begin to move once more, whereas motion picks up for the Philippines:

  • Dates nonetheless current for the overall class, Central America, Mexico, and Vietnam
  • Greater than 3-week advance for China
  • Almost 2-month advance for India
  • More than 1-month advance for the Philippines

Finally, just to be full about all of this: The no-line sample of earlier months continues for EB-Four “special immigrants” from the overall category, China, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The line moves once more for Central America, while Mexico advances greater than Four.5 months. In the EB-5 investor class, solely China and Vietnam proceed to have uncleared backlogs, with no progress for the previous.

CategoryNationNew Reduce-off DatePrevious Minimize-off DateChange in Wait Time
EB-4: Particular ImmigrantsBasic ClassNo waitNo waitNo change
ChinaNo waitNo waitNo change
Central America1-Mar-1622-Feb-16–1 week, 1 day
IndiaNo waitNo waitNo change
Mexico1-Sep-1715-Apr-17–4 months, 2 weeks, 3 days
PhilippinesNo waitNo waitNo change
VietnamNo waitNo waitNo change
ClassCountryNew Minimize-off DatePrevious Minimize-off DateChange in Wait Time
EB-5: BuyersBasic CategoryNo waitNo waitNo change
China1-Sep-141-Sep-14No change
Central AmericaNo waitNo waitNo change
IndiaNo waitNo waitNo change
MexicoNo waitNo waitNo change
PhilippinesNo waitNo waitNo change
Vietnam15-Jun-161-Jun-16–2 weeks

Why This Issues

Should you’re in line for a green card, it’s necessary to keep monitor of precise modifications (and certain future developments) within the Visa Bulletin. It’s all the time a good idea to organize all the documents wanted on your inexperienced card software ahead of time, so that you could be ready to file as shortly as potential as soon as the Visa Bulletin exhibits that a green card is out there to you. By failing to file in a month when a green card is accessible, you danger dealing with a surprise backward movement (“retrogression”) in the next Visa Bulletin, which would close your window of opportunity for submitting a green card software.

Stay tuned for next month’s update! As all the time, we’ll highlight all of the essential modifications for you. Within the meantime, we hope the Polar Vortex isn’t causing you embarrassing grief like it’s for this woman (flip up your audio system for one of the best half).