Department of State Releases June 2013 Visa Bulletin

by Morgan Lewis
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EB-2 category for all chargeable areas other than China and India remains current, with considerable forward movement—but continued backlog—in the EB-3 category for a second month in a row.

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released its June 2013 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 status to that of permanent resident or to obtain approval of an immigrant visa 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 June 2013 Visa Bulletin Say?

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

EB-2: Foreign nationals in the EB-2 category from all countries other than China and India remain current. A cutoff date of July 15, 2008, reflecting minor forward movement, has been imposed for foreign nationals in the EB-2 category from China. A cutoff date of September 1, 2004 remains in effect for foreign nationals in the EB-2 category from India.

EB-3: There is continued backlog in the EB-3 category for all countries, with considerable forward movement for EB-3 individuals chargeable to countries other than India and the Philippines.

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

China: September 1, 2008 (forward movement of 275 days)
India: January 8, 2003 (forward movement of 17 days)
Mexico: September 1, 2008 (forward movement of 275 days)
Philippines: September 22, 2006 (forward movement of 7 days)
Rest of the World: September 1, 2008 (forward movement of 275 days)

Developments Affecting the EB-2 Employment-Based Category

Mexico, the Philippines, and the Rest of the World

In November 2012, the EB-2 category for individuals chargeable to all countries other than China and India became current. This meant that EB-2 individuals chargeable to countries other than China and India could file an AOS application or have the application approved on or after November 1, 2012. The June Visa Bulletin indicates that the EB-2 category will continue to remain current for these individuals through June 2013.

China

The June Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of July 15, 2008 for EB-2 individuals chargeable to China. This means that EB-2 individuals chargeable to China with a priority date prior to July 15, 2008 may file an AOS application or have the application approved on or after June 1, 2013.

India

Since October 2012, the cutoff date for EB-2 individuals chargeable to India has been September 1, 2004. The June Visa Bulletin indicates no movement of this cutoff date. This means that EB-2 individuals chargeable to India with a priority date prior to September 1, 2004 may file an AOS application or have the application approved through June 2013.

Developments Affecting the EB-3 Employment-Based Category

The May Visa Bulletin announced that the cutoff dates for EB-3 individuals chargeable to most countries had advanced significantly in an attempt to generate demand and fully utilize the annual numerical limits for the category. The June Visa Bulletin indicates that the cutoff dates for EB-3 individuals chargeable to most countries have advanced significantly for a second month in a row. The June Visa Bulletin notes that this forward movement is not indicative of what can be expected in the future, and that rapid forward movement in cutoff dates is often followed by a dramatic increase in demand for numbers within the following three to six months. If such demand materializes, such movement in cutoff dates may slow, or stop, for a period of time.

China

The May Visa Bulletin indicated a cutoff date of December 1, 2007 for EB-3 individuals chargeable to China. The June Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of September 1, 2008 for these individuals, reflecting forward movement of 275 days. This means that EB-3 individuals chargeable to China with a priority date prior to September 1, 2008 may file an AOS application or have the application approved on or after June 1, 2013.

India

Additionally, the May Visa Bulletin indicated a cutoff date of December 22, 2002 for EB-3 individuals chargeable to India. The June Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of January 8, 2003 for these individuals, reflecting forward movement of 17 days. This means that EB-3 individuals chargeable to India with a priority date prior to January 8, 2003 may file an AOS application or have the application approved on or after June 1, 2013.

Rest of the World

The May Visa Bulletin also indicated a cutoff date of December 1, 2007 for EB-3 individuals chargeable to the Rest of the World. The June Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of September 1, 2008 for these individuals, reflecting forward movement of 275 days. This means that individuals chargeable to all countries other than China and India with a priority date prior to September 1, 2008 may file an AOS application or have the application approved on or after June 1, 2013.

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 June 2013 Visa Bulletin in its entirety, please visit the DOS website here.

Contacts

For more information, or if you have any questions regarding the issues discussed in this Immigration Alert, please contact any of the following attorneys:

Washington, D.C.
Eleanor Pelta
Eric S. Bord

San Francisco
A. James Vázquez-Azpiri
Malcolm K. Goeschl

Boston
Lisa Stephanian Burton

London
Tracy Evlogidis

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Morgan Lewis
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