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April Visa Bulletin: What Are the Big Changes?

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The U.S. State Department recently released the April Visa Bulletin for this year. Every month, a visa bulletin is released that provides important information about filing dates for immigrants that are attempting to get an Adjustment of Status.  The bulletin helps summarize the availability for immigrants numbers during April for “Final Action Dates” as well, which help inform immigrant visa applicants of when they should assemble and submit the appropriate documents to the National Visa Center.

How Does the Visa Bulletin Work?

Immigrants should make sure they are comparing their priority date (when their green card petition was received) and the final action date listed on the bulletin given for their visa category and country of origin. If the priority date and final action date match, you will receive a visa number and you can adjust your status. It’s important to check the bulletin every month because the final action date will either move closer to your priority date, or it could unfortunately retrogress backward. If the category is current, that means that your visa number will be available once your petition is processed and reviewed. For April, there are a few important advancement dates and retrogressions in the employment-based categories.

What is an Employment-Based Category?

You can get an immigrant visa through your employment in the U.S. Most of the time, you’ll need a job offer from a U.S. employer. There are preference levels (EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3) relevant for this month, as well as chargeability areas (China, India, the Philippines, Central America, and Mexico). 

What Does the April Visa Bulletin Reveal?

The final action dates moved around a bit for the employment categories for this month.

EB-1 category: For people born in China and India, the dates went from being current in March 2018, to back to January 2012 for April of 2018. This is a huge retrogression of over six years, which means that the EB-1 category is not an expedited option for Chinese and Indian people seeking status in this preference level. The dates for Central America, Mexico, and the Philippines are current.

EB-2 category: For China, the dates moved forward nearly 8 months (from December 2013 to August 2014). India, unfortunately, only progressed by one week (in December 2008) for the EB-2 category. Central America, Mexico, and the Philippines are current.

EB-3 category: For professionals and skilled employees born in India, China and the Philippines, there’s good news. India’s dates rocketed ahead by over one year, China moved 6.5 months and the Philippines advanced by 8 months.

If you would like to keep up with more visa and immigration news, keep in touch with our immigration law resources online, or contact the law office of Sweta Khandelwal directly.

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