December 2019 Visa Bulletin: General Advances for All Except For India

The U.S Department of State (DoS) has recently released its current visa bulletin for December 2019. In December, the EB-1 cutoff dates for petitioners from China will advance to May 15, 2017 while India stays at January 1, 2015 once again. All other countries have advanced to July 15, 2018.Furthermore, filing dates for EB-1 employment-based preference groups is now current for all countries except China and India.

Final action dates for employment-based preference petitions:

  • For EB-1: China has advanced three and a half months to May 15, 2017, while India remains unchanged at January 1, 2015. For petitioners from all other countries, the date has progressed more than a month to July 15, 2018.
  • For EB-2: the cut-off date for nationals born in mainland China has advanced from March 15, 2015 to June 15,2015. The cut-off date for Indian nationals hasonly advanced a few days from May 13, 2009 to May 15, 2009. The cut-off dates for petitioners from all other countries have remained current.
  • For EB-3 – Professional and Skilled Workers: For Chinaand India, the final action dates will remain unchanged from November. EB-3 cut-off date for Chinasits at November 1, 2015 while the date for India sits at January 1, 2009. The cut-off date for the Philippines will advance one month from February 1, 2018 to March 1, 2018. For all other countries, the cut-off date remains current.
  • For EB-5 – Non-regional Center: For China, the final action date will advance two weeks to November 15, 2014, while India will advance to January 1, 2018. The cut-off date for Vietnam has advanced from November 15, 2016 to December 1, 2016. The cut-off date is current for all other countries. However, as the EB-5 Regional Center program is part of the short-term spending bill (H.R.4378) designed to fund the government until November 21, 2019, the EB-5 category for regional center filings is scheduled to expire on November 21, 2019. It is likely that an extension will be passed.

Filing dates for employment-based preference petitions:

  • For EB-1: For petitioners from mainland China, the cut-off date remains at September 1, 2017. Similarly, cut off dates for Indian petitioners remains at March 15, 2017. For petitioners for the remaining countries, the cut-off date has become current.
  • For EB-2: Like EB-1 dates, EB-2 dates have also remained unchanged from October. The cut-off date for Chinese petitions is still August 1, 2016, while the date for Indian nationals have stayed at July 1, 2009. Petitioners from all other countries remain current.
  • For EB-3: In the EB-3 category, the dates have remained stagnate. Mainland Chinese petitioners’ cutoff date remains at March 1, 2017, while the date for Indian petitioners have remains at February 1, 2010. The cut-off date for petitioners from the remaining countries continue to be current.
  • For EB-5: For EB-5 petitioners, the cut-off date for nationals born in mainland China has advanced to May 15, 2015 while petitioners from all other countries continue to remain current.

Our Thoughts:

If you believe you qualify for a National Interest Waiver (NIW) but are not sure if you’re as strong a candidate for an EB-1, we recommend starting your NIW application as soon as possible. In general, we encourage our clients to file NIW applications (provided they meet the requirements). Our attorneys have a strong track record of winning approvals: since 2008, Zhang & Associates has helped over 3,200 foreign nationals obtain NIWs.

After you successfully apply for an NIW, and thereafter continue to garner achievements in your field, you may want to consider applying in the first-preference category. Our firm is here to help: since 2012, our attorneys have assisted more than 1,500 clients obtain EB-1 visas.

Before you start the application process, it’s imperative that you consult with experienced immigration attorneys. If you’re interested in filing an NIW, EB-1, or any other employment-based visa application, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Former U.S. Consular officer, Attorney Sechyi Laiu joined Zhang & Associates, P.C. on June 26, 2017

At Zhang & Associates, P.C., Attorney Laiu specializes on Consular Processing cases and business development. Attorney Laiu also focuses on TN visas, E visas, CBP administrative proceedings (monetary confiscation, deferred inspection), and overseas financial compliance.

Prior to joining Zhang & Associates, P.C., Attorney Laiu worked for the U.S. Department of State as a Chinese and Portuguese speaking diplomat. As a consular-coned officer who served in Vancouver (Canada), Shenyang (P.R. China), and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Attorney Laiu processed over 30,000 visa cases and worked in every section of Consular Affairs overseas (Fraud Prevention Unit, Immigrant Visas, Non-Immigrant Visas, and American Citizen Services).

He will use his experience and expertise to deliver the highest quality of service to our clients.

Founded in 1996, Zhang & Associates, P.C. offers legal services to clients worldwide in all aspects of U.S immigration law. We have successfully handled over ten thousand immigration cases.

At Zhang & Associates, P.C., our attorneys and supporting professionals are committed to providing high-quality immigration and non-immigration visa services. We specialize in NIW, EB-1, EB-5, PERM, I-485 I-130, H-1B, O, L and J cases. In the past twenty-two years, we have successfully helped over ten thousand clients get green cards. If you plan to apply for a green card, please send your CV to Attorney Jerry Zhang ( for a free evaluation.

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