By: Chris Musillo

The Department of State has just issued the August 2019 Visa Bulletin. This is the eleventh Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2019. This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.

August 2019 Visa Bulletin

Table A: Final Action Dates -- Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card) or Immigrant Visa appointment.

Employment-
based
All Other CHINA INDIA PHILIPPINES
1st 01JUL16 01JUL16 01JAN15 01JUL16
2nd 01JAN17 01JAN17 02MAY09 01JAN17
3rd 01JUL16 01JAN16 01JAN06 01JUL16

Table B: Dates for Filing -- The DOS may work on applications with these dates. But the Visa cannot be approved until the date is current per Table A.

Employment-
based
All Other CHINA INDIA PHILIPPINES
1st 01SEP18 01OCT17 01OCT17 01SEP18
2nd C 01FEB17 01JUN09 C
3rd C 01JUN16 01APR10 C

MU Law Analysis (all references are to Table A unless noted)

The DOS has retrogressed nearly all categories in August. This happens almost every year. It is nothing to be concerned about. The DOS noted that:

The implementation of the above mentioned dates is expected to be only a temporary issue. For October, the first month of fiscal year 2020, every effort will be made to return these final action dates to those which applied for July.

FAQ

Musillo Unkenholt has received many emails and phone calls from people who have questions about this Visa Bulletin. We have put together this FAQ for all readers of the MU Law Blog.

Q. Why do the August and September Visa Bulletins always have unusual progressions and retrogressions?

A. These two Visa Bulletins are the final two Visa Bulletins of the US Fiscal Year, which runs from October 1 – September 30. The DOS must make sure that it uses all 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas. If it does not use all 140,000 immigrant visas, then the visas do not roll over into the next fiscal year. On the other hand, the DOS cannot use more than 140,000 immigrant visas or else they violate federal law.

Q. The Philippine and All Other EB2 retrogressed for the first time in many years. Does this mean that the Philippine EB2 and All Other dates will permanently be retrogressed?

A. No. This is a temporary retrogression that will only last until October 1, 2019. The DOS expects that the October Visa Bulletin will be Current for both Philippines and All Other EB-2.

Q. If I have an interview will I still be able to get my green card?

A. If you have an interview before July 31, you will be able to get your green card. However if you do not have an interview until August or September, the interview may be postponed until October.


Q. At what rate will the Philippine EB-3 and All Other EB-3 move in 2019 and 202?

A. The DOS indicated that the Philippine EB-3 and All Other EB-3 should remain Current or almost Current after October 1. After October, we expect continued favorable Visa Bulletins for these categories.


Please post any other questions to the blog or Facebook and we will try to timely answer.