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May Visa Bulletin

May 1, 2017

Following the Department of State’s release of the May 2017 Visa Bulletin , USCIS has informed prospective applicants of which priority-date chart they should consult for the month of April:

Family-Based Applicants: Final Action Dates chart

Employment-Based Applicants: Final Action Dates chart

The relevant charts can be seen below.

Family-Based Applicants

Next month, family-based applicants should consult the Final Action Dates chart for May (see below). Please note that this differs from last month, where applicants were instructed to consult the Filing Dates chart instead.  The May chart shows minimal movement, with most categories moving forward by one month. However, the F2A category moved back by approximately four months and the F2B category moved forward by approximately four months.

Employment-Based Applicants

Employment-based applicants should consult the Final Action chart for May (see below), which saw some forward movement relative to the April chart in the EB-3 categories. However, EB-3 India only saw its cutoff date advance by one day. Importantly, there were significant changes to the Certain Religious Workers and 5th Regional Center (I5 and R5) categories, which are all listed as “Unavailable” for May.

Forward Guidance

The DOS provided helpful information about the anticipated future movement of priority date cutoffs. Among the highlights:

  • While EB-1 categories, including EB-1 China and EB-1 India, are “current,” meaning anyone who is ready to submit their adjustment application is free to do so, the DOS noted that demand for adjustment of status cases increased dramatically and corrective action to hold number use within these annual limits will likely be required.

The DOS also noted that there was increased demand for adjustment in the EB-2 categories and that the categories for Worldwide, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and the Philippines can be expected to become oversubscribed no later than July.

The full text of the DOS’s guidance is below:

VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES

During the past six weeks the level of Employment-based First and Second preference demand for adjustment of status cases filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has increased dramatically.  Continued heavy demand for numbers will require corrective action to hold number use within these annual limits.

Employment First Preference: A Final Action Date will be established for both CHINA-mainland born and INDIA in the near future.  Once such a date has been established, there is some chance that it might advance slowly through September. The date for these countries will once again become CURRENT for October, the first month of fiscal year 2018. 

Employment Second Preference:  Worldwide, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines can be expected to become oversubscribed no later than July. It is possible that there could be some forward movement of the established Final Action Date by September.  The date for these countries will once again become CURRENT for October, the first month of fiscal year 2018.

 


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