The Department of State has released its December 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.
The December 2014 Visa Bulletin announced very slight movement forward in almost all EB-2 and EB-3 applicants, as well as F2A applicants. While there were not significant forward movements, there also were significant retrogressions. Specifically, pursuant to the December 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 remained constant at February 15, 2005. The cutoff date for applicants in the EB-2 category from China moved forward about one month to January 1, 2010 (from December 8, 2009 in November 2014). The EB-2 category for individuals from all other countries remains current.
- There was slight forward movement for EB-3 applicants (skilled workers and professionals) from China to June 1, 2010 (from January 1, 2010 in November 2014). India moved forward two weeks to December 1, 2003 (from November 15, 2003 in November 2014). There was also slight forward movement in the EB-3 category for applicants from the Philippines, Mexico, and all other countries to November 1, 2012 (from June 1, 2012 in November 2014).
- The cutoff date for individuals in the family-based F2A category from Mexico moved forward significantly to January 1, 2013 (from September 22, 2012 in November 2014). The cut-off date for F2A applications from all other countries moved forward by three weeks to March 22, 2013 (from March 1, 2013 in November 2014).
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.