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New Department of State Visa Bulletin Creates EB-1 Backlog

Published: July 20th, 2018

By: Chad I. Rubin

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The Department of State released the August 2018 Visa Bulletin, and one major change has occurred which directly impacts individuals who have recently filed EB-1 First Preference petitions or plan to in the near future. The Visa Bulletin is a monthly spreadsheet issued by the Department of State which indicates the availability of employment-based and family-based immigrant visas. The EB-1 First Preference immigrant visa category applies to individuals of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors or researchers, and multinational executives or managers, who are seeking permanent residence in the United States under 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(h)-(j). Until this change, the final action date listed on the Visa Bulletin (which is the date that an immigrant visa becomes available for a beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition) has been current for Individuals seeking a Green Card as an EB-1 eligible individual.

This means that prior to this change an individual could file for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident contemporaneously with their I-140 Petition (except multinational managers) or could file for adjustment immediately upon approval of the I-140 Petition. Unfortunately, beginning August 1, an individual will no longer be eligible for an immigrant visa or to apply for adjustment of status unless their Priority Date (the date they initially filed the I-140 Petition) is on or before the date listed on the Visa Bulletin, which is now May 1, 2016. USCIS will still accept Applications for Adjustment of Status through the end of July.

This change in the availability of an immigrant visa for EB-1 Eligible individuals will have a major impact on short-term immigration status, and it is extremely important for a person seeking the EB-1 Classification to ensure they are maintaining temporary status while they wait for their priority date to become current. This means that Foreign Nationals thinking about applying for a Green Card as an individual of extraordinary ability, outstanding professor or researcher, or multinational executive or manager must ensure they maintain valid immigration status by obtaining non-immigrant visas, such as the O-1, P-1, H-1B or L-1, until their Priority date becomes due. It is extremely important that individuals currently affected by this change speak to a competent immigration attorney, to ensure they can navigate the process correctly and effectively.

Attorney Chad Rubin focuses his practice on helping foreign nationals and multinational corporations with their immigration needs. His experience includes assisting clients with E, O, P, H, and L non-immigrant visas and EB-1 and family-based immigrant visas.