August is just around the corner and with it comes a new visa bulletin. If you have petitioned for a green card and you’re waiting for your priority date to be current, you’ve come to the right place. It’s time to see where the dates have landed in the August 2017 visa bulletin and whether or not they’ve moved from the previous months.
August 2017 Visa Bulletin Overview
This visa bulletin has shown some startling results compared to last month’s. Many of the dates have not seen any movement and the dates for the second preference have retrogressed considerably.
In contrast, the third preference has seen several leaps forward, making it an attractive alternative to the second preference. Overall, it seems as though the dates are stagnating across the board. Keep reading to find out where your priority date stands.
Family-Based Visa Preference Categories
For the family-based green cards, there are four preference levels that are divided according to who the beneficiary is and how the sponsoring family member is related to them. These levels are further split into five chargeability areas: all unlisted countries (the general category), China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines.
Here are the family-based dates according to the visa bulletin for August 2017.
The F1 green card is reserved for the children and dependents of U.S. citizens.
- The dates for the general category, China, and India have not moved from last month and remain at December 22, 2010.
- The date for Mexico has moved forward two weeks from January 15, 1996, to February 1, 1996.
- The date for the Philippines has moved forward one month from September 15, 2006, to October 15, 2006.
The F2 green card is meant for the spouses and children of green card holders (lawful permanent residents). This preference level is divided into two subcategories:
F2A: for the spouses and unmarried dependents of green card holders. For the dependents, they must be under the age of 21.
- The dates for the general category, China, India, and the Philippines have all moved forward two weeks from September 8, 2015, to September 22, 2015.
- The date for Mexico has moved up one week from August 22, 2015, to September 1, 2015.
F2B: for the unmarried children over 21 of green card holders.
- The dates for the general category, China, and India have not seen any movement from the previous month and remain at November 1, 2010.
- The date for Mexico has moved up one month from June 1, 1996, to July 1, 1996.
- the date for the Philippines has moved forward five weeks from November 1, 2006, to December 8, 2006.
The F3 green card is for the married children of U.S. citizens.
- The dates for the general category, China, and India have not seen any movement from the previous month and remain at July 8, 2005.
- The date for Mexico has moved up two weeks from March 22, 1995 to April 8, 1995.
- The date for the Philippines has moved forward five weeks from December 15, 1994, to January 22, 1995.
The last preference level, the F4 green card, is designated to the brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens. This category, as usual, has not seen very much movement.
- The dates for the general category and China have not seen any movement and remain at May 8, 2004.
- The date for India has also not moved since last month and remains at September 22, 2003.
- The date for Mexico has moved up six weeks from August 1, 1997, to September 15, 1997.
- The date for the Philippines has moved up seven weeks from February 15, 1994, to April 8, 1994.
Family-Based Visa Chart
Below is the chart for family-based green cards pulled from the official August 2017 visa bulletin.
Employment-Based Visa Category Dates
There are a total of five preference levels among the employment-based green cards. These levels are further divided into six chargeability areas: the general category, China, India, Mexico, the Philippines, and Central America (or Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala). Because not many people apply to the last two preference levels, we will only analyze the first three.
Here are the employment-based dates according to the visa bulletin for August 2017.
The first preference level is the EB-1 green card, the highest rung on the employment-based ladder. Those who qualify are either individuals with extraordinary achievement, outstanding researcher and professors, or executives and mangers of multinational companies.
- The dates for the general category, Central America, Mexico, and the Philippines all remain current.
- The dates for China and India have not moved from last month and remain at January 1, 2012.
The second preference level is the EB-2 green card, designed for those who have exception ability, an advanced degree, or a National Interest Waiver.
- The dates for the general category, Central America, Mexico, and the Philippines have all retrogressed from being current to having their final action dates set at April 1, 2015.
- The date for China has moved forward one month from March 22, 2013, to April 22, 2013.
- The date for India has not seen any movement from last month and remains at July 22, 2008.
The last level that we will cover is the EB-3 green card. This category is available to those with bachelors degrees, skilled labor positions, and unskilled labor positions. For this third group, you will note that the dates differ slightly.
- The dates for the general category, Central America, and Mexico are all current.
- The date for China has not seen any movement and remains at January 1, 2012.
- The date for India has leaped forward 5 months from February 15, 2006, to July 15, 2006.
- The date for the Philippines has also leaped forward one year and two weeks from May 15, 2014, to June 1, 2015.
- In the “other workers” category, the only date that differs is the date for China, which has retrogressed significantly from July 15, 2006, to January 1, 2004.
Employment-Based Visa Chart
Below is the chart for employment-based green cards pulled from the official August 2017 visa bulletin.
August 2017 Visa Bulletin Predictions
While it may seem as though the process to get a green card is stagnating, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The visa bulletin states that the dates for the first and second employment-based preference levels will be current again in October of 2017, which marks the beginning of the 2018 fiscal year.
For the time being, however, these preferences have been oversubscribed, creating a large backlog that will not reset until October. If you are planning on applying for an EB-2, you may want to keep this in mind or switch to the EB-3 if the date is current for your country.
However, it’s important not to substitute these predictions for professional legal advice. Speak with your immigration attorney to find out how your case is affected by these new dates.
How You Can Keep Yourself Up-To-Date
To make sure that you get all the latest news from the Department of State like the August 2017 visa bulletin, you can subscribe to the DOS newsletter by sending an email with the message “subscribe visa bulletin” to [email protected].
How Our Immigration Attorneys Can Help
Like any aspect of immigration law, understanding the complexities of green cards takes years of practice and study. In order to avoid pitfalls, address unexpected issues, and choose the best route, the most successful green card applicants hire an experienced immigration attorney to guide them along the way.
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