Immigration Road Logo
Immigration News - November and December of 2018

12/28/2018: CRS Report: Permanent Employment-Based Immigration and the Per-country Ceiling

With this statutory and economic backdrop, the policy option of revising or eliminating the per-country ceiling on employment-based LPRs has been proposed repeatedly in Congress. Some argue that eliminating the per-country ceiling would increase the flow of high-skilled immigrants from countries such as India and China, who are often employed in the U.S. technology sector, without increasing the total annual admission of employment-based LPRs. Currently, nationals from India in particular, and to a lesser extent China and the Philippines, face lengthy queues and inordinately long waits to receive LPR status. Many of those waiting for employment-based LPR status are already employed in the United States on temporary visas, a potentially exploitative situation that some argue incentivizes immigrant-sponsoring employers to continue to recruit foreign nationals primarily from these countries for temporary employment. Others counter that the statutory per-country ceiling restrains the dominance of a handful of employment-based immigrant-sending countries and preserves the diversity of immigrant flows. - CRS Report

12/22/2018: Government Shutdown Does Not Impact Most USCIS Operations

The current lapse in annual appropriated funding for the U.S. government does not affect USCIS’s fee-funded activities. Our offices will remain open, and all individuals should attend interviews and appointments as scheduled. USCIS will continue to accept petitions and applications for benefit requests, except as noted below. - USCIS

12/14/2018: January 2019 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for January 2019. The table below shows "Final Action (Approval)" cut-off dates and movement from the previous month, for all major employment-based categories. To see filing cut-off dates or family-sponsored categories please go to the Visa Bulletin page linked above. For our unique Visa Bulletin Graphical Tracker, cutoff date predictions and more information please refer to the Visa Bulletin Toolbox.

Chargeability Preference Cut-off Date (Y-M-D) Movement (Days)
China Second (EB2) 2015-08-01 31
India Second (EB2) 2009-04-01 0
ROW Third (EB3) C Current
China Third (EB3) 2015-06-08 0
India Third (EB3) 2009-03-01 0
Mexico Third (EB3) C Current
Philippines Third (EB3) 2017-06-22 7

11/30/2018: USCIS Proposed Changes to H-1B Visa Lottery Selection Process

USCIS today announced proposed rule changes to the popular H-1B program. The proposed DHS rule looks to prioritize applicants with advanced degrees from US institutions over candidates with undergraduate degrees or similar degress from foreign institutions of higher education. In addition, employers filing for H1B visas under the proposed rule would be able to pre-register so the lottery can go ahead without a full petition. - USCIS

11/14/2018: USCIS I-485 Filing Chart

USCIS I-485 Filing Chart will be the filing chart from December's visa bulletin. This is great news for employment-based categories such as India EB-3, which has been using the final action chart for filing I-485 applications for quite some time.

11/13/2018: December 2018 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for December 2018. The table below shows "Final Action (Approval)" cut-off dates and movement from the previous month, for all major employment-based categories. To see filing cut-off dates or family-sponsored categories please go to the Visa Bulletin page linked above. For our unique Visa Bulletin Graphical Tracker, cutoff date predictions and more information please refer to the Visa Bulletin Toolbox.

Chargeability Preference Cut-off Date (Y-M-D) Movement (Days)
China Second (EB2) 2015-07-01 47
India Second (EB2) 2009-04-01 6
ROW Third (EB3) C Current
China Third (EB3) 2015-06-08 7
India Third (EB3) 2009-03-01 59
Mexico Third (EB3) C Current
Philippines Third (EB3) 2017-06-15 7

Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR):

Pursuant to the continuing resolution, signed on September 28, 2018, the non-minister special immigrant program expires on December 7, 2018. No SR visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after midnight December 6, 2018. Visas issued prior to this date will only be issued with a validity date of December 6, 2018, and all individuals seeking admission as a non-minister special immigrant must be admitted (repeat, admitted) into the U.S. no later than midnight December 6, 2018.

The final action date for this category has been listed as “Current” for December for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, which are subject to specific final action dates for December. If there is no legislative action extending this category for FY-2019, the final action date would immediately become “Unavailable” for December for all countries effective December 7, 2018.

Employment Fifth Preference Categories (I5 and R5):

The continuing resolution signed on September 28, 2018 extended this immigrant investor pilot program until December 7, 2018. The I5 and R5 visas may be issued until close of business on December 7, 2018, and may be issued for the full validity period. No I5 or R5 visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after December 7, 2018.

The final action dates for the I5 and R5 categories have been listed as “Current” for December for all countries except China-mainland born and Vietnam, which are subject to specific final action dates for December. If there is no legislative action extending them for FY-2019, the final action dates would immediately become “Unavailable” for December for all countries effective December 8, 2018.

Return to Immigration News