The Department of State visa bulletin indicates when an immigrant visa becomes available for the various family-based (FB) and employment-based (EB) visa categories. Immigrant visa availability determines when many individuals are eligible to apply for a green card. The Department of State updates the visa bulletin each month depending on availability and demand for each category.
We recently learned that the EB-3 category for citizens of all countries has immediately been made “unavailable” for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2019. This means that the annual limits have been reached in this category. Additional visa numbers are unavailable until the beginning of the next fiscal year in October 2019.
In addition to this change, several other categories are listed as unavailable for the remainder of the fiscal year, including EB-1 India. EB-1 China is not listed as unavailable but did move backwards 2.5 years due to increased demand.
Individuals with pending green card applications that fall into these categories should still continue with their cases and follow government requests. For example, unless otherwise advised, applicants should still appear for a scheduled green card interview. The officer may decide not to proceed with the interview and/or reschedule it for another time. If the interview moves forward and the application is approved, the officer will put the case on hold until a visa number is available.
We will continue to track visa availability and keep clients updated. Though the visa bulletin can be unpredictable, we strive to provide clients guidance to increase the success of their immigration strategy.