State Department Announces Oversubscription of September Employment-Based Second and Third Preference Categories

September 24, 2018

By Immigration Group

This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Laura Danielson is an active member.

Chalkboard - No You Can'tThe Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for the month of September 2018 includes the following excerpted information:

WORLDWIDE, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, MEXICO, AND PHILIPPINES EMPLOYMENT-BASED SECOND (E2), Third (E3), and Third Other Worker (EW) PREFERENCES: As readers were advised in item F of the July Visa Bulletin, there has been an extremely high rate of demand for Employment numbers, primarily for USCIS adjustment of status applicants as a result of the successful implementation of their new interview process. Therefore, pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, it has been necessary to impose E2, E3, and EW Final Action Dates for the month of September with these dates being imposed immediately for new requests for visa numbers. This action will allow the Department to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY 2018 annual limits.

The implementation of the above-mentioned dates will only be temporary and in October, the first month of fiscal year 2019, the final action dates will be returned to those established for August.

Readers were also advised in item F of the July Visa Bulletin that some retrogression might occur prior to the end of the fiscal year. It has been necessary to retrogress the September Final Action Dates for the China Employment-Based Second, and India Employment Second, Third, and Third Other Worker preferences in an effort to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under their FY 2018 annual limits. This will only be temporary and in October, the first month of fiscal year 2019, the final action dates will be returned to those established for August.

Visa Availability in the Coming Months

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)

Employment First:

WORLDWIDE (all countries): October Final Action Dates will be imposed for all countries. Limited, if any forward movement can be expected prior to December.

Employment Second:

Worldwide: Current for the foreseeable future.

China: Slow movement pending receipt of demand from recent advances

India: Up to two weeks

Employment Third:

Worldwide: Current

China: Up to three weeks

India: Slow movement pending receipt of demand from recent advances

Mexico: Current

Philippines: Minimal

Employment Fourth: Current for most countries

El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras: Little, if any forward movement

Mexico: Up to three months

Employment Fifth: The category will remain “Current” for most countries

China-mainland born: Up to one week

Vietnam: Steady forward movement

The above final action date projections for the [Employment category] indicate what is likely to happen on a monthly basis through January. The determination of the actual monthly final action dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables.