December 2019 Visa Bulletin: Limited Movement in Most Final Action Dates

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released the December 2019 Visa Bulletin. In December, movement in most categories is limited. China sees gradual advancements in the employment-based, first and second preference (EB1 and EB2) categories, while India sees little to no progression in any given category. All cutoff dates listed refer to the dates in the final action (FA) chart, unless otherwise specified.

Visa Bulletin Summary

EB1 Category

The cutoff date for China has advanced from February 1, 2017, to May 15, 2017. For India, the final action date stalls at January 1, 2015. All other chargeability areas, except those listed, advance to July 15, 2018.

EB2 Category

The EB2 category remains current for all countries of chargeability except India and China. EB2 China moves forward from March 15, 2015, to June 22, 2015. EB2 India inches forward from May 13, 2009, to May 15, 2009.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Category

EB3 for China and India continue to stall at cutoff dates of November 1, 2015, and January 1, 2009, respectively. EB4 for the Philippines advances to March 1, 2018. All other cutoff dates are current in the EB3 category.

EB3 Other Workers

With the exception of China, the cutoff dates for EB3 other workers are the same for each country as its respective EB3 cutoff dates. For China, the cutoff date for EB3 other workers progresses to March 1, 2008.

Employment-Based, Fourth Preference (EB4) Category

Not including certain religious workers, the EB4 category sees little change. The cutoff date for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras stagnates at July 1, 2016, while Mexico’s FA date remains at July 22, 2017. This category remains current for all other countries of chargeability.

Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5) Category

Not including regional center filings, the EB5 category remains current for all countries of chargeability except China, India, and Vietnam. For China, the cutoff date advances to November 15, 2014. EB5 India moves ahead by nearly a month, to January 1, 2018. For Vietnam, the EB5 cutoff date moves to December 1, 2016.

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

The EB4 category for certain religious workers and the EB5 category for regional center filings are scheduled to expire on November 21, 2019. Both programs routinely are extended each time a government funding bill is passed. Despite the proximity to the November 21, 2019 deadline, both programs still are likely to be extended. Assuming this occurs, the cutoff dates in December for certain religious workers will match those of the standard EB4 category; similarly, upon an extension of the program, the cutoff dates for EB5 regional center cases will match those of non-regional center cases. If, however, Congress and the President fail to extend them before that date, they will remain unavailable on the FA chart for all countries of chargeability, effective November 21, 2019.


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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.