August 2019 Visa Bulletin Shows Extensive Retrogression Across Employment-Based Categories

By Attorney Michele Strickland

The August 2019 Visa Bulletin, released by the U.S. Department of State earlier this month, shows substantial retrogression affecting employment-based categories worldwide. The State Department expects the retrogression to be short lived and anticipates that the final action dates should return to those listed in the July 2019 Visa Bulletin by the start of fiscal year 2020 in October 2019.

Below is a summary of the three primary employment-based preference categories:

EB-1.  Priority Workers

India will remain the same at January 1, 2015. All other countries, including China, will retrogress to July 1, 2016. That works out to be a retrogression of almost one year for China and almost two for the remaining countries.

EB-2.  Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability

All countries, besides China and India, will retrogress by nearly two-and-a-half years to January 1, 2017. This marks a significant change as these countries had been current for a long stretch. The date for China will also move to January 1, 2017, marking an advancement of two months for the country. The date for India will also advance, but only by a little over a week, moving to May 2, 2009.

EB-3. Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers

All countries, besides China and India, will retrogress by approximately three years to July 1, 2016. The date for China will also move to July 1, 2016, but this marks an advancement of six months for the country. The date for India, on the other hand, will retrogress by three-and-a-half years to January 1, 2006.

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