March 2014 Visa Bulletin Updates

The March 2014 visa bulletin was just recently published by the Department of State.  This month’s bulletin not only gave us the new cutoff dates but also provided us with some guidance as to how much the Department of State (DOS) think s that various categories will move forward in the coming months.

Starting with family cases, the F2A – Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents category – was fast moving forward.  Well, that has stalled over the last several months at September 8, 2013, and it is still there for the March Bulletin.  DOS also states that it does not foresee any forward movement in that category over the coming months.  The other family based categories are projected to move forward between 2 to six weeks every month.

In terms of the work based categories, the DOS sees Employment First preference remaining current, as well as Second Preference Worldwide availability.  For Second Preference China, which is now at February 15, 2009, the DOS sees it moving forward approximately 3-5 weeks every month.  India, which is at November 15, 2004 will remain at that date for the foreseeable future.  For Third Preference, the Worldwide and China and Mexico cutoff date is September 1, 2012.  DOS sees this date as remaining level, with great potential for having to move the date back if the potential demand for this category materializes (although in the short term there may be small moves forward).  India will most likely remain at September 15, 2003, but there is a chance of small movements forward, just not a good chance.  The Philippines, which is at May 1, 2007 will move forward at a rate of approximately 3-6 weeks each month.  For the Fourth and Fifth employment preferences, the DOS believes that they will remain current over the next several months.  It is important to note that these are just projections, and that they are only projections for the next couple of months.  Things could change rapidly depending on actual usage patterns each month.

What does this all show?  First, it appears demand for the EB-5s for China was not as high as the DOS thought, as they thought they may have to backlog that category in the next couple of months but they have not renewed that prediction in this visa bulletin.  Secondly, the EB-2 and EB-3 categories are going to remained quite backlogged for India for the foreseeable future.   The good news is that China dates seem to continue to move forward at a good pace and that does not show signs of slowing down.

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