The December 2018 Priority Dates

The December 2018 Priority Dates

Each month, the Visa Office of the State Department publishes, in the Visa Bulletin, the priority dates for that particular month, for the various family and employment based categories. A priority date is a person’s “place in line” for a visa, meaning immigrant visas (or green cards) would be available for persons whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below. If your priority date was “current,” but later retrogressed (or “moved backwards” and became unavailable) before your immigrant visa was issued (or before you adjusted status in the U.S.), you would have to wait until it becomes current again.

Beginning last October 2015, the format of the Visa Bulletin changed, in that a new column was added, called the “Application Filing Date.” If a person’s priority date is earlier than the Application Filing Date, they can already file for adjustment of status and work authorization (provided they are otherwise eligible and USCIS indicates on its website it will use the Application Filing Date for that month). This could allow people to obtain work authorization much sooner than before, where they had to wait for the priority date to be current (in the Visa Issuance Date column) in order to both file for adjustment and be eligible for a green card.

The priority dates for the Philippines are as follows:

FAMILY CATEGORY: Application Filing
Date
Visa Issuance
Date
First Preference Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
(over 21 years of age)
February 15, 2008 February 15, 2007
Second Preference (2A) Spouse and minor children
(below 21 years old) of green card holder
December 01, 2017 October 08, 2016
(2B) Unmarried sons and daughters
(21 years old or older) of green card holder
December 15, 2007 June 08, 2007
Third Preference Married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens June 01, 1997 July 08, 1995
Fourth Preference Brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens. April 22, 1997 July 15, 1995
LABOR CERTIFICATION Application Filing Date Visa Issuance Date
Second Preference Advanced Degree (Masters) Current Current
Third Preference Professional/Skilled Workers August 01, 2017 June 15, 2017
Other workers Non-Skilled Workers August 01, 2017 June 15, 2017


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