State Department Releases Outlook for Visa Number Availability Through May

February 7, 2019

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.

The Department of State's Visa Bulletin for the month of February 2019 notes the following with respect to employment-based visa number availability on a monthly basis through May:

Employment-based categories (potential monthly movement)

Employment First:

Worldwide (most countries): Up to two months.
China and India: Up to one month.

Employment Second:

Worldwide: Current for the foreseeable future.
China: Up to three months.
India: Up to one week

Employment Third:

Worldwide: Current
China: Up to three weeks
India: Up to three months
Mexico: Current
Philippines: Rapid movement to generate demand

Employment Fourth: Current for most countries.

El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras: Up to one week
Mexico: Rapid forward movement until limit is reached

Employment Fifth: The category will remain "Current" for most countries

China-mainland born: Up to one week
Vietnam: Up to three weeks

The above final action date projections for the employment-based category indicates what is likely to happen on a monthly basis through May. The determination of the actual monthly final action dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables. It is also important to remember that by no means has every applicant with a priority date earlier than a prevailing final action date been processed for final visa action, with applicants often processing at their own initiative and convenience.