October 2017 Visa Bulletin Analysis

The first visa bulletin of FY 2018 was released today.  The start of the fiscal year typically kicks off with significant priority date movement and this bulletin is no exception.

Employment-Based Movement

The EB-1 category is current across the board for October.  India and China had recently been backlogged to January 2012, so this dramatic shift is very welcome news!  Predictions suggest that this category will remain current, but applicants are always encouraged to push forward with final preparations for filing I-485s as promptly as possible.

Another major improvement is found in the EB-2 category for All Others and those born in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines.  As expected, this category is now current again, representing a movement forward of nearly two years.

EB-2 India did have forward movement, although not as dramatically as that of other categories.  It advanced to 15SEP08, a move of nearly a month. This category is expected to continue advancing one month at a time.  Should USCIS determine that Chart B can be used, the category would advance nearly six months to 08FEB09.

While EB-3 India remains at 15OCT06, the category did move forward for China, advancing a full two years to 01JAN14.

Family-Based Movement

Family based priority dates moved forward at a much more substantial pace than in recent months. F1 (Unmarried Sons and Daughters of US Citizens) All Others, China, and India advanced nearly seven months to 22DEC10. It had retrogressed in September, so this advancement is a positive development.

F2A (Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents) moved forward in all columns, advancing nearly three weeks in most cases.  There was a one to two week advancement in F2B (Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents) and F3 (Married Sons and Daughters of US Citizens) across countries.  

The F4 category (Brothers and Sisters of Adult US Citizens) retrogressed in September and the elimination of the category has been a topic of discussion.  This month is notable as F4 advanced nearly two and a half years for All Other and China.  Yet the category continues to be of limited use since it remains more than thirteen years back-dated.

At the time of this article's publication, USCIS has not advised whether, in October 2017, it will accept adjustment of status applications for family or employment-based petitions based on filing dates (Chart B), rather than final action dates. USCIS anticipates that this information will be released within one week of the monthly Visa Bulletin.  Ellis Porter will release a news alert if the USCIS allows uses of Chart B.