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The October 2018 Visa Bulletin Contains EB-1 Retrogression that is Unprecedented for the Start of the Fiscal Year

The Department of State has released the visa bulletin for the month of October. Unfortunately, even though October 1, 2018 marks the start of the new fiscal year when new immigrant visa numbers become available, there is still retrogression in the EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 categories across all chargeability areas. However, even though the retrogression is still present in the visa bulletin, many categories have moved forward. For instance, the priority date for Indian nationals in the EB-1 category has moved from January 1, 2012 (September Visa Bulletin) to June 1, 2016 (October Visa Bulletin) and the priority date for Indian nationals in the EB-2 category has moved from January 1, 2007 (September Visa Bulletin) to March 26, 2009 (October Visa Bulletin).

It is important to note that the Department of State publishes two employment-based charts in the visa bulletin every month: (1) Final Action Dates and (2) Dates for Filing. Please note that each month, alongside the visa bulletin, the USCIS determines which chart should be used to determine the eligibility to file. For more than the last year, the USCIS has stated that the Final Action Date chart needs to be used to determine the eligibility to file. The USCIS has not decided which chart should be used for October 2018, but it is highly likely that they will continue the trend of choosing the Final Action chart as the priority dates to use.

To see where the USCIS states which chart to go by, please see the information below (provided in the visa bulletin):

“Unless otherwise indicated on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website at, individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status with USCIS in the Department of Homeland Security must use the “Final Action Dates” charts below for determining when they can file such applications.”

Please feel free to contact USILAW with any questions or issues that you may have. You may reach us via telephone at +1 (202) 618 4540 or via email at

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