USCIS announced that in January the agency will accept employment-based adjustment of status applications based on the filing cut-off date instead of the final action cut-off date. This will allow foreign workers to file for adjustment of status if their priority date predates the filing cut-off date. USCIS has a grim view of February, however, and on its website notes that as soon as February 2019, it anticipates to revert back to final action cut-off date. Although USCIS will accept the filing for adjustment of status based on the filing cut-off date, it cannot approve the adjustment of status until the final action cut-off date becomes current.
The backlogged employment-based categories moved by a few days to a few months, but the unconscionable wait for people born in China, Philippines, and especially India, continues. The EB-1 category of priority workers that groups aliens of extraordinary abilities, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational executives and managers, is backlogged for all immigrants. It did inch forward a few days to a few weeks depending on the country of birth. For example, the priority date for India-born priority workers moved from January 1, 2010, to April 1, 2010, which hardly leaves hope that India-born workers will get their green card before retirement age. Our immigration system makes it easier and much faster for unskilled workers born elsewhere to receive a green than India-or-China-born professionals, including doctors, engineers, and even people with extraordinary abilities like Nobel Prize winners.