October 1 will bring a new fiscal year, and with it new visa numbers and cutoff dates. The Department of State recently released its October 2014 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.
Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, provided some additional analysis and predictions for various immigrant preference categories. Namely, Oppenheim indicated that, although the priority date for EB-2 applications from India remains steady at May 1, 2009, retrogression for EB-2 visas from India is imminent and could happen as early as November 2014. Accordingly, eligible applicants should file for an adjustment of status by the end of October. Oppenheim indicated that, based on filings with the USCIS, he anticipates a large volume of India EB-2 applications in upcoming months.
Additionally, the maximum number of EB-2 immigrant visas available for India for fiscal year 2014 has been reached, which means that EB-2 India visas are “unavailable” until October 1, 2014; USCIS may continue to accept and process EB-2 India applications with priority dates earlier than May 1, 2009 during September, however, but those applications will be held in the Visa Office’s “pending demand” file until October 1, 2014.
Pursuant to the October 2014 Visa Bulletin, the following cutoff dates are in effect:
- All EB-1 categories remain current.
- The cut-off date for applicants in the EB-2 category (professionals holding advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability) from India remains steady at May 1, 2009. The cutoff date for applicants in the EB-2 category from China moved forward by a few weeks to November 15, 2009 (from October 8, 2009 in September 2014). The EB-2 category for individuals from all other countries remains current.
- There was additional movement in the EB-3 category (skilled workers and professionals) for applicants from the Philippines to October 1, 2011 (from April 1, 2011 in September 2014). The cutoff date for EB-3 applicants from China moved forwarded to April 1, 2009 (from November 1, 2008 in September 2014). India remained steady at November 15, 2003. The cutoff date for applicants from Mexico and all other countries moved forward slightly to October 1, 2011.
- The cutoff date for individuals in the family-based F2A category from Mexico moved forward significantly to July 22, 2012 (from April 22, 2012 in September 2014). The cut-off date for F2A applications from all other countries moved forward slightly as well to February 1, 2013.
Priority cut-off dates can change on a monthly basis so it is important to be aware of the cut-off dates set forth in the Visa Bulletins and file a timely application. For more than 30 years, the Chicago employment immigration lawyers at the Shapiro Law Group have helped businesses and their employees obtain the necessary employment-based visa as efficiently as possible. We can advise you of the appropriate visa, help with preparation of your visa application, and file your application in a timely manner.
Contact our office at (847)564-0712 to speak with an experienced U.S. immigration attorney to learn more about employment-based immigration options or the October 2014 Visa Bulletin.