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DOS Releases October 2018 Visa Bulletin

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets annual worldwide and per-country numerical limits on employment-based and family-sponsored immigrant visas. These visas are supply-side "products," allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The October 2018 Visa Bulletin is issued on the basis of reported demand received from State (visa applicants) and Homeland Security (adjustment applicants) by September 10, 2018.

This month's bulletin - the first of the 2019 fiscal year (October 1, 2018 - September 30, 2019) shows decreased backlogs (demand > supply) in the employment-based categories with EB-1 backlogs for all countries; EB-2 backlogs for China and India; EB-3 backlogs for China, India, and the Philippines; EB-4 backlogs for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico (including worldwide unavailability for "Certain Religious Workers"); and EB-5 backlogs for China and Vietnam (including worldwide unavailability for "Regional Centers"). All other employment-based categories are current. There continue to be significant backlogs in all family-sponsored categories, with backlogs of up to ~23 years (FS-4 category for the Philippines).

A link to the October bulletin is here.

As stated in Section A, the bulletin "summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during October for: 'Final Action Dates' and 'Dates for Filing Applications,' indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center. Unless otherwise indicated on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") website at www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo, individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status with USCIS in the Department of Homeland Security must use the 'Final Action Dates' charts...for determining when they can file such applications. When USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for the fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, USCIS will state on its website that applicants may instead use the 'Dates for Filing Visa Applications' charts in this Bulletin."

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