Recently, the Department of State (DOS) released the routine visa bulletin for the upcoming month of December. As stated in the bulletin, the cutoff date movements align with the previous predictions offered by the DOS in October of 2013 for both employment-based and family-based cases. The biggest whiplash from this development is that there will be another period of significant EB-2 retrogression for the country of India.
Family-Based, Second Preference “A”
Cutoff dates for the Family-Based, Second Preference category (FB2A) for the spouse and unmarried minor children of any U.S. permanent resident (“green card” holder) will remain at September 8, 2013 for any country with chargeability with the exception of Mexico who will retain a cutoff date of September 1, 2013,
According to DOS predictions, there will most likely not be any further advancement in this particular category for the next several upcoming months and furthermore that the cutoff date for Mexico will indeed retrogress. This means that all individuals who filed I-130 before September 1, 2013 will still have potential for acquiring permanent resident status in the future. For individuals who retain later priority dates or may have not filed, it could still be a good investment to pursue the FB2A option.
EB-1 category will remain current for any and all countries of chargeability and is expected to remain the same in the future.
Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)
EB-2 category will remain current for any and all countries of chargeability with the exception of India and China.
Concurrent with previous predictions, December will bring about retrogression for Indian nationals falling into the EB2 category. The cutoff date post retrogression will be November 15, 2004. This situation was caused due to the demand for visa numbers exceeding the available supply of visas due to the rapid increase of EB2 India cutoff dates recently. However also specified by DOS, following the retrogression this December, the EB2 India cutoff date would not advance prior to May 2014.
Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)
The outlook for those in the EB-3 category is favorable in all countries except the Philippines and India. The cutoff dates for all countries of chargeability, Mexico, and China will advance by a full year resulting in a new cutoff date of October 1, 20133. The cutoff date for the Philippines will move forward in time resulting in a new cutoff date of January 8, 2007. And finally, India’s cutoff date will retrogress to September 1, 2013.
According to DOS, the rapid movement of cutoff dates is a result of an effort to generate more demand for visa numbers. As more demand begins to manifest itself, the forward movement will cease. DOS further predicts that these advancements will not continues past February 2013. India is not expected to experience and forward movement.
EB-4/EB-5 categories will remain current for any and all countries of chargeability and is expected to remain the same in the future.
EB-2 and EB-3 categories for India will continue to experience substantial retrogression. Though many EB-2 applicants have already received green cards over the past several months, this will come to an abrupt halt by November 30, 2013. This situation is purely caused by the demand for visa numbers being much higher than the supply.