Visa Availability for EB-1 Remains Uncertain; Pending Adjustment of Status Applicants Must Wait

The EB-1-1 (employment-based first preference) became oversubscribed during the summer. While this is normal because the summer is the end of the U.S. fiscal year, visas in this category historically always have become available again October 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year, and green cards would be issued. Not so this year. According to officials at the Department of State who are in charge of number crunching, this category is not expected to become “current” in 2019. There will, however, be some forward movement of visa availability in December.

For Indian and Chinese nationals, the wait will most likely be longer. DOS expects some advancement in December but it is unclear how far these categories will advance. What does this mean for applicants who have filed for adjustment of status based on an approved I-140 case? It means you will have to wait and your status remains legal but in limbo. (Even if you have had your interview, USCIS will not issue your immigrant visa — green card — until a visa becomes available again.)

Most important, and while you wait, adjustment applicants are reminded to make sure your combo card remains current. It may need to be renewed, which you can do six months in advance of its expiration date. Renewing your work authorization may be important for renewing your driver’s license but for some, renewing may not be necessary. Renewing your advance parole is trickier because the filing of the renewal will trigger another period of being “landlocked” and unable to travel abroad. While the adjudication of work authorization documents and advance parole continues to take on average between 4.5 to 6.5 months, work authorization is automatically extended for 180 days upon the timely filing of the renewal. Not so for advance parole. There is no filing fee for renewing either advance parole or work authorization documents.


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