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Visa Bulletin Analysis: October 2014

The visa bulletin for October 2014 has been released by the U.S. Department of State. This marks the release of the first bulletin issued by the Department of State for the fiscal year 2015. Numerous changes occurred in the October bulletin; with forward progress in the majority of employment based preference categories. The only exception lies with the EB-2 Category for India. The EB-2 category for India remains unchanged for October 2014, due to high demand in the preference category.

As a reminder: The monthly visa bulletin issued by the U.S. Department of State regulates the country and category cut off dates that dictate the filing and adjudication of adjustment of stats applications and consular processing visa applications. Non-citizens may submit their petitions to adjust status to permanent residency or an alternate immigrant benefit once their priority dates are current.

EB-1, EB-4 and EB-5 categories remain unchanged.

The First, Fourth and Fifth preference categories (EB-1, EB-4, EB-5) of Employment Based petitions shall remain unchanged for the month of October 2014. All categories shall remain current, irrespective of the Nationality of the applicant. 

EB-2 developments

EB-2 applicants from Mexico, the Philippines and the “Rest of the World,” with the exception of India and China, are current on priority dates.

Applicants from China in the EB-2 category saw forward movement  of 5 weeks (38 days). Specifically, the previous bulletin for Chinese applicants, showed a priority date of October 8, 2009 and the current bulletin suggests a cutoff date of November 15, 2009.

Applicants from India in the EB-2 category saw NO MOVEMENT. Specifically, the previous bulletin for Indian applicants, showed a priority date of May 1, 2009 with no movement for the month of October 2014. This recent stall in advancement of the EB-2 category for applicants from India is evidence of the U.S. Department of State’s attempt at regulating demand. As history suggests an increase in demand for the EB-2 visa will likely require the regression of the cutoff date, to manage numbers within the limits (annual visa limits) of the 2015 fiscal year.

EB-3 advancements

The Third preference category (EB-3) saw the greatest advancement among all the applicable visa categories. Specifically, applicants from India saw an advancement of 7 days to November 15, 2013 while China advanced by 151 days to April 1, 2009. EB-3 applicants from the Philippines, Mexico and the ‘worldwide category’ saw the greatest advancement of 6 months to October 1, 2011.

Priority date effect on applicants

Priority dates (cutoffs) are reassessed by the U.S. Department of State and addressed in the monthly visa bulletin highlighted above. It is important to note that fluctuations in the priority date are based on demand the management of annual visa limits for the designated fiscal year. Applicants should be weary that dates may see significant movement forward or backward or may see no movement at all. 

It is recommended that applicants contact our Immigration Attorneys prior to planning and applying for an Employment based petition.