Department of State Releases June 2014 Visa Bulletin

by Morgan Lewis
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Bulletin shows significant retrogression in the EB-3 category for applicants chargeable to China, Mexico, and the Rest of the World as well as significant retrogression in the F2A category for applicants chargeable to all countries.

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released its June 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 June 2014 Visa Bulletin Say?

Because of the dramatic increase in demand in the EB-3 category over the last several months, the cutoff dates for EB-3 applicants chargeable to China, Mexico, and the Rest of the World will retrogress severely in June. The cutoff dates in the F2A category for applicants chargeable to all countries will also retrogress severely in June.

Meanwhile, the cutoff date for EB-3 applicants chargeable to India and the Philippines will advance slightly, along with the cutoff date for EB-2 applicants chargeable to China. The June Visa Bulletin indicates no movement in the EB-2 India category.

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

EB-2: The cutoff date of November 15, 2004 for applicants in the EB-2 category chargeable to India will remain unchanged from the May Visa Bulletin. The cutoff date for applicants in the EB-2 category chargeable to China will advance by 37 days to May 22, 2009. The EB-2 category for all other countries will remain current.

EB-3: The cutoff date for applicants in the EB-3 category chargeable to India will advance by 14 days to October 15, 2003. The cutoff date for applicants in the EB-3 category chargeable to China will retrogress by six years to October 1, 2006. The cutoff date for applicants in the EB-3 category chargeable to the Philippines will advance by 61 days to January 1, 2008. The cutoff date for applicants chargeable to Mexico and the Rest of the World will retrogress by 549 days to April 1, 2011.

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

China: October 1, 2006 (retrogression of six years)
India: October 15, 2003 (forward movement of 14 days)
Mexico: April 1, 2011 (retrogression of 549 days)
Philippines: January 1, 2008 (forward movement of 61 days)
Rest of the World: April 1, 2011 (retrogression of 549 days)

Developments Affecting the EB-2 Employment-Based Category

Mexico, the Philippines, and the Rest of the World

The EB-2 category for applicants chargeable to all countries other than China and India has been current since November 2012. The June Visa Bulletin indicates no change to these categories. This means that applicants 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 June 2014.

China

The May Visa Bulletin indicated a cutoff date of April 15, 2009 for EB-2 applicants chargeable to China. The June Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of May 22, 2009, reflecting forward movement of 37 days. This means that applicants in the EB-2 category chargeable to China with a priority date prior to May 22, 2009 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in June 2014.

India

In December 2013, the cutoff date for EB-2 applicants chargeable to India retrogressed by 3.5 years to November 15, 2004 because of unprecedented demand for EB-2 visa numbers from applicants in this category. This cutoff date has since remained constant, and the June Visa Bulletin again indicates no change. This means that only applicants 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 June 2014.

Developments Affecting the EB-3 Employment-Based Category

China

From September through December 2013, the cutoff date for EB-3 applicants chargeable to China advanced by 2.75 years, and, from January through April, the cutoff date advanced by an additional 366 days. There was no change to this cutoff date in May. The June Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of October 1, 2006, reflecting retrogression of six years. This means that only applicants in the EB-3 category chargeable to China with a priority date prior to October 1, 2006 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in June 2014. In light of this retrogression, it is no longer advantageous for AOS applicants chargeable to China to file in the EB-3 category rather than the EB-2 category.

India

The May Visa Bulletin indicated a cutoff date of October 1, 2003 for EB-2 applicants chargeable to India. The June Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of October 15, 2003, reflecting forward movement of 14 days. This means that only EB-3 applicants chargeable to India with a priority date prior to October 15, 2003 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in June 2014.

Rest of the World

From September through December 2013, the cutoff date for EB-3 applicants chargeable to the Rest of the World advanced by 2.75 years, and, from January through April, this cutoff date advanced by an additional 366 days. There was no change to this cutoff date in May. Because of continued heavy demand, the June Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of April 1, 2011, reflecting retrogression of 549 days. This means that only applicants in the EB-3 category chargeable to the Rest of the World with a priority date prior to April 1, 2011 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in June 2014.

Developments Affecting the F2A Family-Sponsored Category

Beginning in October 2013, a cutoff date of September 1, 2013 was imposed for F2A applicants from Mexico. In March 2014, as a result of heavy demand in the F2A Mexico category, the DOS retrogressed this cutoff date by 504 days to April 15, 2012 to regulate demand. There was no change to this cutoff date in April or May. The June Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of March 15, 2011 for F2A applicants from Mexico, reflecting further retrogression of 397 days. This means that only those applicants from Mexico with a priority date prior to March 15, 2011 will be able to file AOS applications or have applications approved in June 2014.

The F2A cutoff date for applicants from all other countries advanced significantly during fiscal year 2013 in an effort to generate demand, resulting in a dramatic increase in demand over the last seven months. The June Visa Bulletin indicates that the cutoff date for the F2A Worldwide category will retrogress by 495 days to May 1, 2012, to stay within the annual numerical limit. This means that only those worldwide F2A applicants with a priority date prior to May 1, 2012 will be able to file AOS applications or have applications approved in June 2014. The June Visa Bulletin indicates that further retrogression of the worldwide F2A category should not be ruled out.

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 2014 Visa Bulletin in its entirety, please visit the DOS website here.

 

 

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Morgan Lewis
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