United States: August 2019 Visa Bulletin: Significant Retrogression In Most Employment-Based Categories, EB-2 India Advances Ahead Of EB-3 India

Last Updated: September 9 2019
Article by Fragomen  

At a glance

  • Extensive retrogression will occur in August for most countries in the EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 categories due to increased demand. State Department suggests that cutoff dates could return to those listed in the July Visa Bulletin on October 1, 2019, the start of FY 2020.
  • EB-1 will retrogress to July 1, 2016 for most countries. India will remain at January 1, 2015.
  • EB-2 Worldwide will retrogress to January 1, 2017.
  • EB-3 Worldwide will retrogress to July 1, 2016. EB-3 India will retrogress steeply to January 1, 2006, placing it behind EB-2 India for the first time in many months. EB-2 India will advance slightly to May 2, 2009.

A closer look

As projected, the State Department will retrogress cutoff dates in the EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Worldwide categories due to a steady increase in adjustment of status filings. According to the State Department's August Visa Bulletin, cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows:

  • EB-1: All countries except India will retrogress to July 1, 2016. India will remain at January 1, 2015. China will retrogress by almost one year, while the remaining countries will retrogress by almost two years to the new July 1, 2016 cutoff date.
  • EB-2: After being current for many months, EB-2 will retrogress by about two and a half years for all countries except China and India to January 1, 2017 in August. China will advance by two months, to January 1, 2017, while India will advance by more than a week, to May 2, 2009.
  • EB-3 Professional and Skilled Workers: Most countries will move from being current to a cutoff date of July 1, 2016, a retrogression of about three years. China will advance by six months, to July 1, 2016, and India will retrogress by three and a half years, to January 1, 2006.
  • EB-5: Both the Regional and Non-Regional Center categories will advance two weeks for China to October 15, 2014. As expected, the October 15, 2014 China cutoff date will apply to both India and Vietnam in August. This means a retrogression of about two and a half years for India, and a retrogression of about two years for Vietnam. All other countries will remain current.

In the coming days, USCIS is expected to announce on its own Visa Bulletin web page the cutoff dates for acceptance of adjustment of status applications next month.

Immigrant visa availability in the coming months

In the August Bulletin, the State Department notes that there has been a steady increase in employment-based visa demand from USCIS adjustment of status applications filed with USCIS since late May. Because there is no indication this increase will end, the Department established or retrogressed many of the August employment-based Final Action dates to ensure visa issuance does not exceed legal limits for fiscal year 2019, which ends September 30.

The Department also states, however, that these retrogressions are expected to be temporary, and that in October 2019, the beginning of FY 2020, the agency will attempt to return these Final Action dates to those which appeared in the July Visa Bulletin.



India: January 1, 2015

China: July 1, 2016

All other countries: July 1, 2016


China: January 1, 2017

India: May 2, 2009

All other countries: January 1, 2017

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers

China: July 1, 2016

India: January 1, 2006

All other countries: July 1, 2016

EB-3 Other Workers

China: November 22, 2007

India: January 1, 2006

All other countries: July 1, 2016


El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras: July 1, 2016

Mexico: July 1, 2016

All other countries: Current


China: October 15, 2014

Vietnam: October 15, 2014

India: October 15, 2014

All other countries: Current



China and India: October 1, 2017

All other countries: September 1, 2018


China: February 1, 2017

India: June 1, 2009

All other countries: Current

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers

China: June 1, 2016

India: April 1, 2010

All other countries: Current

EB-3 Other Workers

China: June 1, 2008

India: April 1, 2010

All other countries: Current


El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras: September 1, 2016

All other countries: Current


China: November 15, 2014

All other countries: Current

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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