The Department of State has released its Visa Bulletin for February 2019. The Visa Bulletin determines when an applicant is able to file an adjustment of status application based on the priority date of an approved immigrant visa petition.
The employment-based first preference category, or EB-1, includes individuals of extraordinary ability and multinational managers or executives. One notable change in the employment-based chart this month includes the EB-1 preference category moving backwards –which results in longer wait times. The government will not accept green card applications from EB-1 applicants unless their priority date is before December 2017 for many applicants and before February 2017 for applicants from China or India. Although this is a setback for many EB-1 applicants hoping to apply for green cards, we have seen that the priority dates can progress up to two months per visa bulletin issuance. Therefore, we are hoping for better news in March.
The EB-3 India preference category also moved slightly past the EB-2 preference category this month. Both preference categories maintain priority dates in 2009, which still means a long wait time for Indian nationals in those preference categories. However, we will continue to monitor the progress of both categories to make sure we are filing petitions for clients in the fastest-moving categories when possible.