The Department of State has released its February 2015 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 February 2015 Visa Bulletin largely held positive news. For instance, it continued the trend of significant forward movement for EB-3 applicants from the Philippines, Mexico, and all other countries except China and India. Additionally, there were no significant retrogressions. Specifically, pursuant to the February 2015 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 moved forward several months to September 1, 2005 (from February 15, 2005 in January 2015). The cutoff date for applicants in the EB-2 category from China moved forward six weeks to March 15, 2010 (from February 1, 2010 in January 2015). The EB-2 category for individuals from all other countries remains current.
- Significant forward movement continued in the EB-3 category (skilled workers and professionals) for applicants from the Philippines, Mexico, and all other countries jumping to January 1, 2014 (from June 1, 2013 in January 2015). India moved forward one week to December 22, 2003 (from December 15, 2003 in January 2015), and the cut-off date for EB-3 applicants from China remained constant at March 1, 2011.
- The cutoff date for individuals in the family-based F2A category from Mexico moved forward two months to April 22, 2013 (from February 22, 2013 in January 2015). The cut-off date for F2A applications from all other countries moved forward by approximately three weeks to May 8, 2013 (from April 15, 2013 in January 2015).
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 February 2015 Visa Bulletin.