October 2018 Visa Bulletin

October 2018 Visa Bulletin

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have published the October 2018 Visa Bulletin.

How do I use these charts?

Match up your country of birth in the topmost row with your visa application type in the leftmost column. In the intersecting box, you will find a cut off date or a ‘c’ for “current,” meaning there is not a backlog in that category.

Each month, the U.S. Department of State adjusts these cutoff dates based on projected demand in each visa preference category. The projected demand is based on the number of I-485 Applications pending or projected to be filed, as well as the number of immigrant visa applications in process at the U.S. consular posts abroad. The date you see is the date your application needed to be first filed to have a number in the current pool of available visas.

Understanding the Visa Backlogs

A limited number of employment-based immigrant visas (“green cards”) are available each year, and they are divided between several preference categories. The Immigration Act sets a worldwide level for annual employment and family-based preference immigrants. Any one country, however, cannot receive more than 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits.

Whenever there are more qualified applicants for a preference category than there are available visa numbers, the preference category will become oversubscribed, or "backlogged." The U.S. Department of State then creates a “priority date cut off” for the oversubscribed categories. In some cases, it may be advisable to contact a lawyer to discuss alternate visas you could petition for.

What to Expect

Movement in the cut off dates is fairly unpredictable. The dates move forward, backwards, and can stay the same from month-to-month based on demand and processing speed. Each month, the American Immigration Lawyers Association interviews the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division at the DOS an publishes a prediction about activity over the coming months. We will also post a link to this information on our blog.

For More Information

You can read Charlie Oppenheim’s latest predictions here.

Read AILA Doc. No. 18091371.

This blog post does not serve as legal advice and does not establish any client-attorney privilege. Do not take any action based on the information contained in this post without consulting a qualified immigration attorney. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team directly.

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Categories: Immigration News