The Visa Bulletin for December 2014 has officially been released by the U.S. Department of State (DOS). There are a few changes, as anticipated, to the cut-off date for the EB3 category as well as some other employment-based categories but at this time no changes in the employment-based EB2 category for India.
Employment-Based Category Changes
- EB-1: Continues to remain current.
- EB-2: The Employment Second Preference (EB2) Category is current for all countries with the exception of China and India. The cut-off date for EB2 India remains consistent at Feb. 15, 2005 as the DOS previously acknowledged. However, there is an advancement for EB2 China to a new date of Jan. 1, 2010. For that reason, the EB3 cut-off date (China) is more preferable.
EB3 Category Changes
The most significant change noted in the DOS Visa Bulletin is an advancement in Employment Third Preference (EB3) cut-off date to Nov. 1, 2012 including Mexico and the Philippines. For China (mainland born) this date has advanced to June 1, 2010 and EB3 India has moved to December 1, 2003.
For the “EB3 other workers” category, the cut-off dates are identical to the normal EB3 dates except for China which is now July 22, 2005.
- EB-4: Continues to remain current.
- Certain Religious Workers: Continues to remain current.
- EB-5: Continues to remain current.
Family-Based Second Preference Dates Advance
Within the Family-Based Immigration category, applicable to the children and spouses of lawful residents, there have been some key changes. The FB2A for Mexico category date has been changed to Jan. 1, 2013 while the cutoff dates for all other chargeability areas has advanced to March 22, 2010.
Priority Date (Cut-Offs)
It’s necessary to point out that these cut-off dates are assessed by the DOS in the aforementioned visa bulletin. In many instances there will be advancements in the date or postponements in relation to the management of annual visas submitted in that fiscal year.
To ensure you file correctly, applicants are advised to seek an immigration attorney who is up-to-date and current on all the changes in effect. Our attorneys specialize primarily in family/employment-based visas and are available to assist a range of client needs and cases.