October 2019 Visa Bulletin Released – Details and Future Predictions

First of all, the October 2019 Visa Bulletin was released on September 18, and this is significantly later than DOS’ typical schedule. The Department of State usually publishes new visa bulletins around the 10th of the previous month, and could be as early as the 8th or as late as 13th/14th. I had never seen a release date being pushed to the 18th, until today.

In addition, October is probably the easiest month to set cut-off dates, simply because it’s the start of a new fiscal year when fresh visa numbers become available again. DOS hasn’t offered any explanation for the delay, but based on their excellent track record, I’m confident they’ll return to normal schedule in the future.

Now on to the visa bulletin: Kind of disappointing for an October release.


EB1: All EB1 categories will remain backlogged in October. Although most countries advance for October, none will become current. China EB-1 will advance almost three years to 2016-11-1, India remains standstill at 2015-1-1, while everybody else moves forward by about seven months, to 2018-4-22.

If you go to our Visa Bulletin page, you can find cutoff date movement just for your own category. This is a much easier way because you don’t have to tangle with a bunch of other dates you don’t care about. For example, from the chart below, you can see Worldwide (ROW) EB1 cutoff dates and movement from previous month in one table:

EB2: All categories except India and China will become current for October. So yes, EB2 is now ahead of EB1.

China EB2 took the hardest hit, moving backward by two full years!

India EB2 advance by mere 4 days.

Our visa bulletin tracker provides interactive graphs to show the trend and movement:

EB3: China, India and the Philippines remain backlogged, while rest of the world will become current.

Chargeability Preference Cut-off Date (Y-M-D) Movement (Days)
ROW Third (EB3) C 0
China Third (EB3) 11/1/2015 669
India Third (EB3) 1/1/2009 1280
Mexico Third (EB3) C 0
Philippines Third (EB3) 10/15/2017 471

EB4-Religious and EB5-Regional will become unavailable for October. However, if Congress extends the law governing these two categories, they will immediately become current.

Family Sponsored

Most family categories across the board will advance slightly for October, with one significant exception: F2A – all categories will become current.

For more details, please visit our Family VB Graphs. Below is one example showing F4 visa bulletin movement:

Visa Bulletin Graph - F4

The Department of State also issued their predictions for the next few months:

FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement after October 2019)

Worldwide cutoff dates:

  • F1: Up to two months
  • F2A: CURRENT, corrective action should be expected by February
  • F2B: Up to six weeks
  • F3: Up to one month
  • F4: Up to six weeks

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement after October 2019)

  • EB-1:
    • WORLDWIDE: Up to three months
    • China: Up to three months
    • India: Little if any forward movement
  • EB-2:
    • Worldwide: Current
    • China: Up to two months
    • India: Up to one week
  • EB-3:
    • Worldwide: Current
    • China: Little if any forward movement
    • India: Little if any forward movement
    • Mexico: Will remain at the Worldwide date
    • Philippines: Up to several months
  • EB-4:
    • Current for most countries
    • El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras: Little if any forward movement
    • Mexico: Up to four months
  • EB-5:
    • The category will remain “Current” for most countries
    • China, India, and Vietnam: Too early to predict

A reminder: If you’re planning to file I-485, you must wait a few days and check with USCIS, who will release I-485 filing charts for October.

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