September 2018 Visa Bulletin: Temporary Retrogression and Short-Term Predictions

This afternoon, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the September 2018 Visa Bulletin. This is the final visa bulletin for fiscal year 2018 (FY18), and due to extremely high demand in certain visa categories, there is severe retrogression in many of the employment-based categories. However, once fiscal year 2019 (FY19) starts on October 1, 2018, the cutoff dates will return to the dates established in the August 2018 Visa Bulletin.

This month’s visa bulletin also includes some short-term predictions for FY19.

Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1) Category

The cutoff dates for EB1 India and China hold fast at January 1, 2012. For all other countries of chargeability, EB1 advances to June 1, 2016.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) Category

In September, EB2 India retrogresses to January 1, 2007. For all other countries of chargeability, this category retrogresses to a January 1, 2013 cutoff date.

In the October 2018 Visa Bulletin, which will be the first visa bulletin of FY19, EB2 India should return to a cutoff date of March 15, 2009, and then see advancement of about one-to-two weeks per month. For EB2 China, the cutoff date should return to March 1, 2015, but then see very little movement in the short-term.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Category

EB3 India falls back all the way to a January 1, 2003 cutoff date. EB3 China advances to November 1, 2014. EB3 for all other countries of chargeability retrogresses to a November 1, 2016 cutoff date.

Again, this retrogression is only temporary. These categories will return to the dates in the August 2018 Visa Bulletin at the start of FY19. EB3 China is then expected to advance by up to five weeks per month. EB3 India, unfortunately, will see “slow movement pending receipt of demand from recent advances.”

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 has a May 1, 2007 cutoff date.

Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5) Category

The EB5 category remains current for all countries of chargeability, with the exception of China and Vietnam. The cutoff date for these two countries remains at August 1, 2014.

For the beginning of FY19, EB5 China is expected to advance by up to one week per month. Meanwhile, EB5 Vietnam should see steady forward movement.

In the coming months, the EB5 category should remain current for all other countries of chargeability. However, there are indications that, at some point during FY19, a cutoff date will need to be established in the EB5 category for India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Brazil.


As soon as any additional updates or predictions are provided, the information will be posted on MurthyDotCom. Subscribe to the free MurthyBulletin to have future updates delivered to your inbox.


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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.