The March 2015 Visa Bulletin has been released by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and there are some welcome changes in the employment-based second preference (EB2) category for India as well as China. There are also favorable changes in the EB-3 category, as we’ll explain in detail.
Employment-Based Category Changes
EB-1: Current for all countries of chargeability.
EB-2: All countries are current except China and India. Second preference category for India (beginning March 2015) advances to January 1, 2007 while EB-2 China advances to September 1, 2010.
EB-3: All chargeability areas move to June 1, 2014 except China and India. Mexico and the Philippines also honor the June 2014 cutoff date.
Second Preference (EB-2) Changes Explained
The March 2015 Visa Bulletin includes welcome changes for many in the second preference EB-2 category. The cutoff date for India has moved forward for the second consecutive month. The DOS has predicted in February that India might advance 4-6 weeks each month until May however, as we’ve noted the advancement has exceeded this prediction. It’s also necessary to point out that in past years the EB-2 India cutoff date advanced quickly towards the last quarter in the FY so these changes are pleasant news for many.
EB-3 Category Changes
The employment-based third preference category has a cutoff date of June 1, 2014 for all areas of chargeability except China and India. This new date is an advancement of 5 months. China advances to October 22, 2011 which is just over a month advancement while India moves forward to January 1, 2004.
The March 2015 Visa Bulletin indicates that in the “other workers” category, all chargeability areas listed are June 1, 2014 except China and India. China’s cutoff date is unchanged at August 15, 2005 while India’s is January 1, 2004.
EB-4: Continues to remain current.
Certain Religious Workers: Continues to remain current.
EB-5: Continues to remain current.
FB-1: The date for all areas of chargeability for the family-based category (including China and India) is August 1, 2007 while Mexico is October 22, 1994 and Philippines is February 1, 2005.
FB-2A: The bulletin indicates that the date for all areas of chargeability is June 22, 2013. Mexico is the only country who’s date is May 22, 2013.
March 2015 Visa Bulletin Summary
As we can see, there are some welcome changes to the employment-based category, specifically for India and China. These changes will be good news for many individuals who have been waiting to transition to permanent residents. If your priority date is current based on the latest March 2015 Visa Bulletin, it’s best to contact an immigration attorney to see how your status may be adjusted. It’s important to act in a timely manner for an Adjustment of Status applications.
If there are any changes to the March 2015 Visa Bulletin or any other new developments our office will publish an update. Our immigration attorneys specialize in employment-based cases and offer a free consultation to go over the details of your case. However, we also handle family-based immigration cases, asylum, deportation, and more. Give us a call to explore your options and learn how we can address your needs to the best of our abilities.