April 2018 Visa Bulletin: Cutoff Date Set for EB1 India and China, EB3 India Surges Forward

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released the April 2018 Visa Bulletin. The most notable changes are that cutoff dates have been imposed in the employment-based, first preference (EB1) category for India and China, and that there is considerable movement in the employment-based, third preference (EB3) category for India.

All cutoff date movement in this article refers to the final action (FA) chart.

Overview of Movement in Employment-Based Categories

Due to heavy demand in the EB1 category, it was well understood that cutoff dates would eventually become necessary in this category for India and China. However, expectations were that this would occur sometime near the summer. But, effective April 1, 2018, EB1 for India and China will have the cutoff date of January 1, 2012.

In the employment-based, second preference (EB2) category, India’s cutoff date moves forward by one week, to December 22, 2008. Meanwhile, EB2 China’s cutoff date leaps ahead by almost eight months, to August 1, 2014.

In the EB3 category, the cutoff date for India races ahead by more than one year, to February 1, 2008. EB3 China also sees advances, moving up by seven months, to June 1, 2015.

The cutoff dates for the EB3 other workers category match those of the standard EB3 category for all countries, except China. EB3 other workers for China advances by one month, to April 1, 2007.

In the employment-based, fourth preference (EB4) category, not including those for certain religious workers, the cutoff date remains current for all countries, except Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. EB4 Mexico’s cutoff date advances by five weeks, to August 8, 2016. The cutoff date for the other three countries remains stationary, at December 1, 2015.

For non-regional center filings in the employment-based, fifth preference (EB5) category, the cutoff date for China holds steady at July 22, 2014. The cutoff date for EB5 non-regional center cases for all other countries of chargeability remains current.

EB4 Certain Religious Workers and EB5 Regional Center Presently Listed as “Unavailable”

Similar to the February 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 March 23, 2018. Both programs are routinely extended each time a government-funding bill is passed. Assuming a government shutdown again is avoided, the hope is that these programs will be extended. If they are extended, the cutoff dates in April 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.


If additional predictions are made regarding movement in the monthly visa bulletin, the information will be posted on MurthyDotCom. Subscribe to the free MurthyBulletin for future updates.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.