Alert: Revised October Visa Bulletin Issued

DOS just put out a revised visa bulletin for October, 2015.  No Final Action Dates were changed.  The only changes made were to the Dates for Filing.  Below are the changes that were made:

In the Family Based categories the only changes made were for Mexico in the F1 (unmarried sons and daughters of US Citizens) and F3 (married sons and daughters of US Citizens) categories.  The dates were modified to April 1, 1995 and May 1, 1995 respectively.

In the employment based categories the biggest changes were to the EB2 category for India and China.  India, which had a Date for Filing in 2011 in the original visa bulletin, has been moved back to July 1, 2009.  China was also moved back, not quite as much, to January 1, 2013.  The last change was for the Philippines, which saw its EB3 and Other Workers Dates for Filing moved to January 1, 2010.

We will update you if any other changes are made.


June 2015 Visa Bulletin – Forward Movement for Some

The Department of State has put out the June 2015 visa bulletin. While family based dates have remained fairly steady (with some backlogs and some slight movement forward) the bigger changes were on the employment side.

1st – Remain current for all countries
2nd – Remain Current for All Areas EXCEPT China is now in June 1, 2013 a jump of 1 year and India is at October 1, 2008, a slight movement forward of about 1 month
3rd – All countries moved forward to February 15, 2015, about 1 month forward movement, EXCEPT China, which is at September 1, 2011 (forward movement of about 4 months), India which is at January 22, 2004 (no movement) and Philippines, which moved back 2 years to January 1, 2005.
Other Workers: Same as 3rd preference except China is at January 1, 2006.
5th – China remains backlogged at May 1, 2013 while the rest of the world is current.

Overall, China moved forward quite a bit in the 2nd preference category (which includes the NIW application) which is good news. Unfortunately, India remains backlogged quite heavily although it did have some forward movement in the 2nd preference category.

Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.

January 2015 Visa Bulletin Released – Worldwide EB-3 Movement

The January 2015 Visa Bulletin was released by the Department of State today.  While family based cases moved forward about 1-2 months in each category, the major movement forward was for employment based category 3 (EB-3) – those sponsored by employers for Professional or skilled jobs.  In this category, the priority date moved forward from November 1, 2012 to June 1, 2013.   As this is a big movement, we would suggest those who are now eligible to file adjustment of status applications should do so as soon as possible.

For those from India and China waiting for EB-2 dates to move – there was no movement for India EB-2, and China EB-2 moved forward 1 month to February 2010.

Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.

December 2014 Visa Bulletin Released

The December 2014 visa bulletin was released just recently.  There were no major surprises, but some movement forward almost across the board.

In Family Cases:

Unmarried sons and daughters of US Citizens:  Moved forward about 2 weeks for most of the world to June 22, 2007.  Mexico jumped about 1.5 months to August 15 ,1994 and the Philippines also jumped about 1.5 months to December 15, 2004.

Spouses of Permanent Residents:  Again, about a two week jump for most of the world to March 22, 2013.  Mexico jumped about 3.5 months to January 1, 2013.

F2B: This category moved forward about 2 months to February 22, 2008 for most of the world.  Mexico jumped about 1 months to October 1, 1994.  The Philippines moved forward only about 2 weeks to January 15, 2004.

F3:  In this category everywhere moved forward about two weeks:  Mexico to November 15, 1993, the Philippines to June 22, 1993 and the rest of the world to December 15, 2003.

F4:  Most everywhere just jumped forward about two weeks:  Mexico to March 1, 1997, the Philippines to June 1, 1991, and the rest of the world to February 22, 2002.

Employment Based:

EB1:  Current everywhere

EB2:  Current everywhere except:  India held steady at February 15, 2005 and China moved forward to January 1, 2010.

EB3:  Most of the world moved forward 5 months to November 1, 2010 except India, which is at December 1, 2003 (about 1 month movement) and China which is at June 1, 2010 (a 5 month jump).

According to the Department of State, the EB2 for China will continue to move forward at the same rate.  Worldwide and China for the EB-3 category will continue to move forward fairly rapidly. While this is good in the short term, in the long term there may be some back tracking in the future as demand increases.

Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.

September Visa Bulletin – A little Movement

The September Visa Bulletin was released by the Department of State and does show a little movement forward in certain categories.  First we will look at the family based immigrant visas.  In this area, there was not much movement forward, but a few notable movements are:

  • Unmarried sons and daughters of US Citizens:  Moved forward about 1 month to May 2007 for most countries.
  • Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents:  Moved forwards about 6 months to January 1, 2013 for most countries.
  • Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:  Moved forward about 2 months to September 1, 2007
  • The other categories had little to no movement.

In the employment Based Categories there were only two areas in which there was movement:

  • India in the 2nd preference moved forward from January 22, 2009 to May 1, 2009.
  • In addition the Philippines moved forward in both the 3rd preference and All other categories from June 1, 2010 to April 1, 2011 – almost a one year jump.

While it is good that India is moving forward in the 2nd preference, this is what the DOS stated in terms of the movement forward for India in the 2nd preference for the coming months:

“The use of potentially “otherwise unused” Employment numbers prescribed by Section 202(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) has allowed the India Employment Second preference cut-off date to advance very rapidly in recent months. Continued forward movement of this cut-off date during the upcoming months cannot be guaranteed, however, and no assumptions should be made until the dates are formally announced. Once there is a significant increase in India Employment Second preference demand it will be necessary to retrogress the cut-off date, possibly as early as November, to hold number use within the fiscal year 2015 annual limit.”

We shall keep you updated if the DOS releases any additional guidance

Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.


June 2014 Visa Bulletin: Retrogression has landed

backwardThe Department of State has been stating for a while now that it may need to retrogress certain categories, and it has now happened.  Both the family based category 2A (spouses and children of permanent residents) went from September 8, 2013 to May 1, 2012 for all countries except Mexico (which went from April 15, 2012 to March 15, 2011).  These dates may retrogress even more in the coming months, depending on demand.

At the same time, the Employment Based 3rd category (professionals and skilled workers) also retrogressed.  This category went from October 1, 2012 to April 1, 2011 for all countries except China, India and the Philippines.  China went from October 1, 2012 to October 1, 2006, a huge retrogression showing that there are more China EB-3 numbers than we thought there were.  India went from October 1, 2003 to October 15, 2003, a small forward movement which is a surprise.  The Philippines also progressed.  They went from November 1, 2007 to January 1, 2008.

We should receive more guidance about movement of these dates in the next visa bulletin which will be released around June 15, 2014.

Despite the EB-3 retrogression, the EB-2 category has held current for all countries except China and India.  China moved forward slightly from April 15, 2009 to May 22, 2009.  India held steady at November 15, 2004.

May 2014 Visa Bulletin: Inching Forward

imagesThe May 2014 visa bulletin has been released and in many of the categories there has been little to no movement.  So, without further ado, lets run through the dates:

Employment Based:

Eb-1 is still current for all.

Eb-2 is still current for all except India (which is still at 11/15/2004) and China (which progressed to 4/15/2009).

Eb-3  is still at 10/1/2012 for most of the world, and at 10/1/03 for India and 9/1/07 for the Philippines

Family Based:

F1 (unmarried sons and daughters of US Citizens):  Has moved forward about two weeks to 3/8/07 except for Mexico (11/15/93) and the Philippines (2/1/02)

F-2A (spouses and children of PRs):  Unchanged

F-2B (Unmarried sons and daughters of PRs):  Probably the biggest jump (about 4 months) to 2/1/07 for all except Mexico (5/15/93) and the Philippines (6/22/03)

F-3 (Married sons and daughters of Citizens):  Moved forward about 2 months to 9/1/03 for all except Mexico (7/1/93) and the Philippines (3/1/93)

F-4 (brothers and sisters of Citizens):  Moved Forward about 2 weeks to 12/8/01 except for Mexico 12/1/96 and the Philippines 11/1/90

That is the run down.  In terms of projections, the DOS believes that the F-2A category will start to retrogress in the coming months because of heavy demand.

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.

January Visa Bulletin Released


The January 2014 Visa Bulletin was recently released by USCIS last week.   Perhaps the most notable movement was for the worldwide EB-3 and China and Mexico EB3 numbers.  In all three of those cases, the priority date moved up almost 1 year to April 1, 2012.  The Philippines moved forward only one month in this category to February 15, 2007 and India did not move at all, staying at September 1, 2003.

For EB2 movement, the worldwide, Mexico and Philippines numbers stayed current.  China moved forward by one month to December 8. 2008 and India again stayed at the same date, November 15, 2004.   As stated in our previous posts, chances are India will not see any movement until later in the fiscal year.

In terms of family based visas, the Family Preference 1 (Unmarried Sons and Daughters of US Citizens) saw a little movement to December 8, 2006 for Worldwide numbers, China and India and the Family Preference 2A (Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents) stayed at September 8 , 2013 for all areas except Mexico which is still at September 1, 2013.  Likewise the Family Preference 2B (Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents) also stayed the same at June 1, 2006 for All areas except Mexico and the Philippines, both which are extremely backlogged in this area.  Family Preference 3 (Married Sons and Daughters of US Citizens) and Family Preference 4 (Brothers and Sisters of US Citizens) both moved forward about 1 month to April 15, 2003 and October 1, 2001 respectively (except for Mexico and the Philippines, both of which are extremely backlogged in this area).

For those interested, the visa bulletin is released every month by the Department of State and is available at this page.

Image courtesy of digitalart at