February 2019 Visa Bulletin: Cutoff Date for EB3 India Passes EB2

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released the February 2019 Visa Bulletin. Notably, in the employment-based, third preference (EB3) category, the cutoff date in the final action (FA) chart for India moves forward by nearly two months, while its counterpart in the employment-based, second preference (EB2) category inches ahead by a mere five days. This leaves EB3 India with a more favorable cutoff date than that of EB2 India.

Visa Bulletin Summary

All dates discussed in this article refer to the FA chart, unless otherwise indicated.

Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1) Category

In the EB1 category, the cutoff dates for India and China move to February 8, 2017. For all other countries of chargeability, the cutoff dates advance to December 1, 2017.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) Category

In February, EB2 India moves to an April 6, 2009 cutoff date. EB2 China’s cutoff date advances to October 1, 2015.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Category

For India, the EB3 cutoff date moves ahead to April 22, 2009. For China, EB3 is set at July 1, 2015. Meanwhile, the EB3 cutoff date for the Philippines moves to August 1, 2017.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Category for Other Workers

With the exception of China, the cutoff dates for EB3 other workers are the same for each country as their respective EB3 cutoff date. For China, the cutoff date for EB3 other workers is set at August 1, 2007.

Employment-Based, Fourth Preference (EB4) Category

In the EB4 category, not including those for certain religious workers, EB4 Mexico advances to September 1, 2017. EB4 for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras moves to March 1, 2016.

Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5) Category

For non-regional center cases, EB5 China remains at September 1, 2014. The EB5 Vietnam cutoff date moves up to June 15, 2016. The category remains current for all other countries.

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

The EB4 category for certain religious workers and the EB5 category for regional center cases are listed as unavailable until and unless the programs are reauthorized. This is expected to happen once the partial government shutdown is resolved. Once that occurs, the cutoff dates in February for certain religious workers will match those of the standard EB4 category; similarly, upon an extension of the program, the cutoff date for EB5 regional center cases will match those of non-regional center cases.

Dates for Filing (DF) Chart

For employment-based cases, the cutoff dates in the DF chart remain largely unchanged from the previous month. The only movement is for EB2 China, which advances to November 1, 2015, and EB3 for the Philippines, which moves to October 1, 2017.

Updated Predictions

The February 2019 Visa Bulletin includes updated predictions for how far each category’s cutoff date may advance per month, through May 2019. The predictions provided for the employment-based categories are as follows:


Worldwide (most countries): Up to two months.
China and India: Up to one month.


Worldwide:  Current for the foreseeable future
China: Up to three months
India: Up to one week


Worldwide:  Current
China: Up to three weeks.
India: Up to three months.
Mexico: Current
Philippines: Rapid movement to generate demand.


Current for most countries
El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras: Up to one week
Mexico: Rapid forward movement until limit is reached


Current for most countries
China-mainland born: Up to one week
Vietnam: Up to three weeks


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.