Department of State Releases April 2014 Visa Bulletin

Bulletin shows no movement of cutoff dates in EB-2 or EB-3 India categories and continued advancement of the EB-3 China category ahead of the EB-2 China category.

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released its April 2014 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority date cutoffs that regulate the flow of adjustment of status (AOS) and consular immigrant visa applications. Foreign nationals may file applications to adjust their statuses to that of permanent residents or to obtain approval of immigrant visas at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad, provided that their priority dates are prior to the respective cutoff dates specified by the DOS.

What Does the April 2014 Visa Bulletin Say?

The April Visa Bulletin indicates no movement of cutoff dates in the EB-2 or EB-3 India categories and continued advancement of the EB-3 China category ahead of the EB-2 China category.

A cutoff date of April 15, 2012 will remain in effect for individuals in the F2A category chargeable to Mexico, while a cutoff date of September 8, 2013 will remain in effect for individuals in the F2A category chargeable to all other countries.

EB-1: All EB-1 categories will remain current.

EB-2: The cutoff date of November 15, 2004 for individuals in the EB-2 category chargeable to India will remain unchanged from the March Visa Bulletin. The cutoff date for individuals in the EB-2 category chargeable to China will advance by 21 days to March 8, 2009. The EB-2 category for all other countries will remain current.

EB-3: The cutoff date for individuals in the EB-3 category chargeable to India will not change. The cutoff date for individuals in the EB-3 category chargeable to China will advance by 30 days to October 1, 2012. The cutoff date for individuals in the EB-3 category chargeable to the Philippines will advance by 45 days to June 15, 2007. The cutoff date for individuals chargeable to Mexico and the Rest of the World will advance by 30 days to October 1, 2012.

The relevant priority date cutoffs for foreign nationals in the EB-3 category are as follows:

China: October 1, 2012 (forward movement of 30 days)
India: September 15, 2003 (no movement)
Mexico: October 1, 2012 (forward movement of 30 days)
Philippines: June 15, 2007 (forward movement of 45 days)
Rest of the World: October 1, 2012 (forward movement of 30 days)

Developments Affecting the EB-2 Employment-Based Category

Mexico, the Philippines, and the Rest of the World

The EB-2 category for individuals chargeable to all countries other than China and India has been current since November 2012. The April Visa Bulletin indicates no change to these categories. This means that individuals in the EB-2 category chargeable to all countries other than China and India may continue to file AOS applications or have applications approved through April 2014.

China

The March Visa Bulletin indicated a cutoff date of February 15, 2009 for EB-2 individuals chargeable to China. The April Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of March 8, 2009, reflecting forward movement of 21 days. This means that individuals in the EB-2 category chargeable to China with a priority date prior to March 8, 2009 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in April 2014.

India

In December 2013, the cutoff date for EB-2 individuals chargeable to India retrogressed by 3.5 years to November 15, 2004 due to unprecedented demand for EB-2 visa numbers from applicants in this category. This cutoff date has since remained unchanged, and the April Visa Bulletin again indicates no change. This means that only individuals in the EB-2 category chargeable to India with a priority date prior to November 15, 2004 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in April 2014.

Developments Affecting the EB-3 Employment-Based Category

China

From September through December 2013, the cutoff date for EB-3 individuals chargeable to China advanced by 2.75 years, and, from January through March, this cutoff date advanced by an additional 336 days. The April Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of October 1, 2012, reflecting additional forward movement of 30 days. This means that individuals in the EB-3 category chargeable to China with a priority date prior to October 1, 2012 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in April 2014.

India

In March, the cutoff date for EB-3 individuals chargeable to India advanced by 14 days to September 15, 2003. The April Visa Bulletin indicates no change to this cutoff date. This means that only EB-3 individuals chargeable to India with a priority date prior to September 15, 2003 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in April 2014.

Rest of the World

From September through December 2013, the cutoff date for EB-3 individuals chargeable to the Rest of the World advanced by 2.75 years, and, from January through March, this cutoff date advanced by an additional 336 days. The April Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of October 1, 2012, reflecting additional forward movement of 30 days. This means that individuals in the EB-3 category chargeable to the Rest of the World with a priority date prior to October 1, 2012 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in April 2014.

Developments Affecting the F2A Family-Sponsored Category

Beginning in October 2013, a cutoff date of September 1, 2013 was imposed for F2A spouses and children of permanent residents from Mexico, and a cutoff date of September 8, 2013 was imposed for F2A spouses and children of permanent residents from all other countries. In March, as a result of heavy demand in the F2A Mexico category, the cutoff date for F2A applicants born in Mexico retrogressed by 504 days to April 15, 2012; the cutoff date for F2A applicants from all other countries remained unchanged. The April Visa Bulletin indicates no change to these cutoff dates. This means that only those applicants from Mexico with a priority date prior to April 15, 2012 will be able to file AOS applications or have applications approved in April 2014, while applicants from the Rest of the World with a priority date prior to September 8, 2013 may continue to file AOS applications or have applications approved through April 2014.

How This Affects You

Priority date cutoffs are assessed on a monthly basis by the DOS, based on anticipated demand. Cutoff dates can move forward or backward or remain static. Employers and employees should take the immigrant visa backlogs into account in their long-term planning and take measures to mitigate their effects. To see the April 2014 Visa Bulletin in its entirety, please visit the DOS website.

Topics:  Adjustment of Status, China, Department of State, EB-2, Immigrants

Published In: Immigration Updates, Labor & Employment Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Morgan Lewis | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »