The Department of State has released its November 2013 Visa Bulletin. Each monthly visa bulletin provides the priority cutoff dates for specific countries in order to regulate the flow of visa applications. Foreign nationals are permitted to file applications for an adjustment to status or for approval of an immigrant visa as long as the priority date is prior to the respective cutoff date specified by the Department of State in the monthly visa bulletin.
Pursuant to the November 2013 Visa Bulletin, the following cutoff dates are in effect:
Applicants in the EB-2 category (professionals holding advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability) from India continue to have a cutoff date of June 15, 2008 (no movement from the October bulletin). The cutoff date for applicants in the EB-2 category from China will move forward by 23 days in November. The EB-2 category for individuals from all other countries remains current.
Like previous months (with the exception of October), November will see dramatic improvements in the cutoff dates in the EB-3 category (skilled workers and professionals) for individuals from most countries. The November Visa Bulletin indicates that the cutoff date for individuals in the EB-3 category from India and the Philippines remains unchanged, but the cutoff date for individuals in the EB-3 category from China, Mexico, and the rest of the world has advanced by 92 days to October 1, 2010.
A cutoff date of September 1, 2013 for individuals in the family-based F2A category from Mexico will continue from October.
A cutoff date of September 8, 2013 for individuals in the F2A category from all countries other than Mexico will continue from October.
Although there was not much movement for employment-based visa categories, applicants are urged to submit their application as soon as possible.
Similarly, legal residents who want to sponsor legal residency for their spouses and/or minor children under the F2A category are urged to contact an attorney as soon as possible to begin the application process. Although the F2A category is no longer “current,” as it was in August and September, the waiting period is still relatively short and applicants should submit their petitions as soon as possible before the waiting time increases further.
The F2A visa application process can be confusing. If you are interested in bringing your spouse or minor children to the U.S. under the F2A visa program, you will need to file a petition to sponsor an alien relative, known as an I-130 petition in the F2A category.