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September 2017 Visa Bulletin – Cutoff Date for EB-2 ROW Remains; Last Visa Bulletin for The Fiscal Year

Home/Articles, EB-2, EB-3, News, News Alert, Visa Bulletin/September 2017 Visa Bulletin – Cutoff Date for EB-2 ROW Remains; Last Visa Bulletin for The Fiscal Year

September 2017 Visa Bulletin – Cutoff Date for EB-2 ROW Remains; Last Visa Bulletin for The Fiscal Year

The U.S. State Department has just released the September 2017 Visa Bulletin which is the last Visa Bulletin for the FY2017 fiscal year.  The headline in the upcoming month’s Visa Bulletin is the continued cutoff date for the EB-2 ROW, Mexico and Philippines categories, together with the notable forward movement in EB-3 India.  Also, this is the last Visa Bulletin for the fiscal year.

Summary of the September 2017 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based (EB)

EB Category Sep 2017 Aug 2017 Change
Employment Application Final Action Dates (determines when an I-485 or IV can be approved)
EB-1 ROW, MX, PH Current Current No change
EB-1 India Jan 1, 2012 Jan 1, 2012 No change
EB-1 China Jan 1, 2012 Jan 1, 2012 No change
EB-2 ROW, MX, PH Jan 1, 2016 Apr 1, 2015 Forward by 8 months
EB-2 India Aug 22, 2008 Jul 22, 2008 Forward by 1 month
EB-2 China May 15, 2013 Apr 22, 2013 Forward by 3 weeks
EB-3 ROW Current Current No change
EB-3 India Oct 15, 2006 Jul 15, 2006 Forward by 3 months
EB-3 China Jan 1, 2012 Jan 1, 2012 No change
EB-3 Mexico Current Current No change
EB-3 Philippines Nov 1, 2015 Jun 1, 2015 Forward by 5 months
Dates for Filing Employment Visa Applications (determines when an I-485 can be filed)
USCIS will determine and announce within a week – please check back.
EB-1 Current Current No change
EB-2 ROW, MX, PH Current Current No change
EB-2 India Feb 1, 2009 Feb 1, 2009 No change
EB-2 China Oct 1, 2013 Oct 1, 2013 No change
EB-3 ROW Current Current No change
EB-3 India Jan 1, 2007 Jan 1, 2007 No change
EB-3 China Sep 1, 2015 Sep 1, 2015 No change
EB-3 Mexico Current Current No change
EB-3 Philippines Jul 1, 2014 Jul 1, 2014 No change

Please note that USCIS will determine, about a week after this Visa Bulletin is published, whether or not to accept I-485 filings on the basis of these filing dates. Please see the section below.

Summary of the September 2017 Visa Bulletin – Family-Based (FB)

FB Category Sep 2017 Aug 2017 Change
Family Application Final Action Dates (determines when an I-485 or IV can be approved)
FB-1 ROW, China, India May 1, 2010 Dec 22, 2010 Backward by 6 months
FB-1 Mexico Feb 1, 1996 Feb 1, 1996 No change
FB-1 Philippines Jan 1, 2007 Oct 15, 2006 Forward by 2.5 months
FB-2A ROW, China, India, Philippines Oct 1, 2015 Sep 22, 2015 Forward by 2 weeks
FB-2A Mexico Sep 22, 2015 Sep 1, 2015 Forward by 3 weeks
Dates for Filing Family Visa Applications (determines when an I-485 can be filed)
USCIS will determine and announce within a week – please check back.
FB-1 ROW, China, India Jul 22, 2011 Jul 22, 2011 No change
FB-1 Mexico Apr 1, 1996 Apr 1, 1996 No change
FB-1 Philippines Sep 8, 2007 Sep 8, 2007 No change
FB-2A ROW, China, India, Philippines Apr 8, 2016 Apr 8, 2016 No change
FB-2A Mexico Apr 8, 2016 Apr 8, 2016 No change

Please note that USCIS will determine, about a week after this Visa Bulletin is published, whether or not to accept I-485 filings on the basis of these filing dates. Please see the section below.

EB-2 ROW/Mexico/Philippines Cutoff Date Continues 

As we anticipated and alerted over the last few months, the Department of State had introduced a cutoff date for the EB-2 ROW, Mexico and Philippines categories (which have almost always been current) for the months of August and September 2017.

The introduction of this cutoff date means that EB-2 ROW, Mexico or Philippines applicants will not be able to complete their green card process either at the US Consulate or by filing or getting an approval of I-485 adjustment of status application until their priority date becomes current again.   It is expected that these categories will be current again after October 1, 2017.

Possibility of Running Out of Visa Numbers During September

Because September is the last month of the fiscal year, the Department of State is aiming to use all of the available visa numbers available for the fiscal year.  Because any unused visa numbers are not recaptured during subsequent years, the Department of State is often a little bit more aggressive in issuing visa numbers in September so that there are no unused visas at the end.

What this means, however, is that it is possible that the Department of State may run out of visa numbers for certain categories at some point in September and green card applications for applicants who may otherwise be current and ready for approval may not be approved until after October 1st.

October 2017 Visa Bulletin Expected to “Reset” Cutoff Dates

We expect that the October 2017 Visa Bulletin (to be released in early September) to “reset” the cutoff dates for many categories which were either retrogressed or had a cutoff date introduced over the last two months.   As the new fiscal year begins on October 1, the government has the entire new fiscal year’s supply of immigrant visas and we expect that the cutoff dates will advance notably for many categories over the coming few months.

Current Date?

Our office stands ready to assist in the applicable process to take advantage of the significant restructuring in the way the cutoff dates are determined and published.  There are many applicants across many of the employment and family categories who can now process their (and their family members’) I-485 Adjustment of Status applications from within the U.S. or process their immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if our office can help you take advantage of this (very time-sensitive for some) opportunity to file I-485 applications. We are also happy to provide a free quote for preparing and filing your I-485 application.

Further Updates and News

We invite you to subscribe to our free weekly immigration newsletter to receive timely updates on this and related topics. We also invite you to contact us if our office can be of any assistance in your immigration matters or you have any questions or comments about the September 2017 Visa Bulletin. Finally, if you already haven’t, please consider our Visa Bulletin Predictions tool which provides personalized predictions and charts helping you understand when a particular priority date may become current and what are the movement patterns.

By | 2017-08-09T10:47:01+00:00 August 9th, 2017|Articles, EB-2, EB-3, News, News Alert, Visa Bulletin|

About the Author:

Dimo R. Michailov, Esq.
As one of the senior attorneys and the founding member of the Capitol Immigration Law Group, Mr. Michailov is at the forefront of the immigration law community. He represents individuals from more than 50 countries in their quest for U.S. immigration options and solutions. He also represents companies and organizations ranging from small entrepreneurs to multinational corporations in meeting their goals to recruit, hire and retain talented foreign nationals while maintaining full compliance with the relevant immigration rules and procedures.