Visa Bulletin for May 2019

Alexander J. Segal's picture

Introduction

On April 8, 2019, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) published the Immigrant Visa Bulletin for May 2019 [PDF version]. The Visa Bulletin for May 2019 contains filing dates and final action dates for filing for immigrant visas based on approved immigrant visa petitions in the employment-based and family-sponsored preference categories for that month. On April 15, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determined that adjustment of status applicants with approved family-sponsored petitions must use the Visa Bulletin's more favorable filing dates whereas those with approved employment-based petitions must use the final action dates for May 2019 [PDF version].

In this article, we will examine the pertinent charts from the May 2019 Visa Bulletin for family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant visa and adjustment of status applicants. To see a list of our visa bulletin articles, please see our index [see index]. To learn how to use the visa bulletins, please see our informational article on that subject [see article].

Family-Sponsored Cases

The USCIS has determined that beneficiaries of approved family-sponsored immigrant visa petitions must use the dates for filing charts from the Visa Bulletin for May 2019. This is good news for prospective adjustment applicants in the family-sponsored preferences because the filing dates are generally more favorable to applicants than are the final action dates. In order for the beneficiary of an approved family-sponsored immigrant visa petition to apply for adjustment of status in May 2019, the beneficiary's priority date must be before the applicable filing date cutoff for his or her preference category and chargeability area. The individual must also be otherwise eligible for adjustment of status under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the pertinent implementing regulations.

The priority date for a family-sponsored immigrant visa petition is generally the date on which the petition was properly filed with the USCIS.

The following are the filing dates for family-sponsored cases in May 2019:

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 22AUG12 22AUG12 22AUG12 08OCT99 15APR08
F2A 08JAN18 08JAN18 08JAN18 08JAN18 08JAN18
F2B 01AUG14 01AUG14 01AUG14 01OCT98 15MAY08
F3 22JUN07 22JUN07 22JUN07 22JUN00 01OCT97
F4 01OCT06 01OCT06 15MAR05 15NOV98 15FEB98

For informational purposes, the following are the final action dates for family-sponsored cases in the Visa Bulletin for May 2019:

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 22AUG12 22AUG12 22AUG12 08OCT99 15APR08
F2A 08JAN18 08JAN18 08JAN18 08JAN18 08JAN18
F2B 01AUG14 01AUG14 01AUG14 01OCT98 15MAY08
F3 22JUN07 22JUN07 22JUN07 22JUN00 01OCT97
F4 01OCT06 01OCT06 15MAR05 22NOV98 15FEB98

Employment-Based Cases

The USCIS has determined that beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions must use the final action date charts from the Visa Bulletin for May 2019. In order for the beneficiary of an approved family-sponsored immigrant visa petition to apply for adjustment of status in May 2019, the beneficiary's priority date must be before the applicable final action cutoff for his or her preference category and chargeability area. The individual must also be otherwise eligible for adjustment of status under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the pertinent implementing regulations.

The priority date for an employment-based petition that required labor certification is generally the date on which the labor certification application was approved by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The priority date for employment-based petitions that did not require labor certification is generally the date on which the petition was properly filed with the USCIS.

Before examining the employment-based charts from the Visa Bulletin for May 2019, please note that “C” stands for “current.” Beneficiaries of approved employment-based petitions in a preference category and chargeability area with a date of current for May 2019 are eligible to apply for adjustment of status in May 2019 provided that they otherwise meet the generally applicable statutory and regulatory requirements for adjustment.

The following are the final action dates for employment-based cases in May 2019:

Employment-Based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born El SALVADOR GUATEMALA HONDURAS INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES VIETNAM
1st 01MAR18 22FEB17 01MAR18 22FEB17 01MAR18 01MAR18 01MAR18
2nd C 15MAY16 C 16APR09 C C C
3rd C 22AUG15 C 01JUL09 C 01JUN18 C
Other Workers C 01SEP07 C 01JUL09 C 01JUN18 C
4th C C 08MAR16 C 01AUG18 C C
Certain Religious Workers C C 08MAR16 C 01AUG18 C C
5th Non-Regional Center (C5 and T5) C 22SEP14 C C C C 22SEP16
5th Regional Center (I5 and R5) C 22SEP14 C C C C 22SEP16

For reference purposes, the following are the filing date charts for employment-based cases in May 2019:

Employment-based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born EL SALVADOR GUATEMALA HONDURAS INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st 01SEP18 01OCT17 01SEP18 01OCT17 01SEP18 01SEP18
2nd C 01SEP16 C 01JUN09 C C
3rd C 01JAN16 C 01APR10 C 01OCT18
Other Workers C 01JUN08 C 01APR10 C 01OCT18
4th C C 01JUL16 C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C 01JUL16 C C C
5th Non-Regional Center (C5 and T5) C 15OCT14 C C C C
5th Regional Center (I5 and R5) C 15OCT14 C C C C

Visa Bulletin Update Regarding China and India E1

The DOS notes in the Visa Bulletin for May 2019 that “there continues to be an extremely high rate of demand for E1 numbers [for China-mainland born and India], primarily for USCIS adjustment of status applicants.” Because of this demand, the “situation may require the retrogression of this final action date in an effort to limit future number use.” The DOS added that if it determines that retrogression of the China and India E1 final action dates is necessarily, it would be temporary and return “to the latest reached during fiscal year 2019 for October, the first month of fiscal year 2020.”

Chinese and Indian beneficiaries of approved E1 petitions should be prepared for the possibility that their final action dates may be retrogressed in the coming months. The DOS did not provide definite information for when or to what extent this may occur. Potential date retrogression in these categories will depend on the continuing demand for visas and adjustment of status.

Conclusion

It is important for the beneficiaries of approved immigrant visa petitions in the family-sponsored and employment-based preference categories to stay abreast of the immigrant visa bulletin. It is especially so for adjustment of status applicants who must affirmatively apply for immigrant status. Beneficiaries should consult with an experienced immigration attorney for any and all necessary case-specific guidance, including for information about how the visa bulletin works and seeking status as an immigrant either through consular processing abroad or through the adjustment of status process in the United States.

We will update the website with information about the Visa Bulletin for June 2018 once the DOS releases the bulletin and the USCIS determines which dates adjustment of status applicants must use.

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Visa Bulletin for May 2019