• United States: EB-3 Priority Date Cut-Offs Will Advance in March, but EB-2 India and China Dates Will See No Change
  • February 18, 2011
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The Department of State has released the March Visa Bulletin, its projection of immigrant visa availability for the coming month. In March, priority date cut-offs for backlogged employment-based preference categories will continue to advance by a few weeks to several months for most countries, with some exceptions.

    In the employment-based second preference (EB-2) category for China and India, priority date cut-offs will remain the same next month, at July 8, 2006 and May 8, 2006 respectively. In the third preference (EB-3) subcategory for professionals and skilled workers, priority dates will advance by three weeks for China and India, six months for Mexico, and three months for all other countries. In the EB-3 “other worker” subcategory, priority dates will advance by three to six weeks for most countries, but will remain unchanged for China and Mexico.

    Due to continued demand, the family-based second preference category (F-2A) for spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents will retrogress by one year, to January 1, 2007 for most countries, though Mexico will advance by nine months. The F-2A category had seen sizeable priority date advancements as recently as November 2010, when the priority date cut-off was June 1, 2010 for most countries. However, demand for family-based immigrant visas has increased sharply in recent months, leading to the retrogressions. The State Department has suggested that priority dates could advance, albeit slowly, if retrogression succeeds in slowing the demand for family-based immigrant visa numbers in the coming months.

    In March 2011, priority date cut-offs for employment-based immigrant categories will be as follows:

    EB-1

    Current for all countries.

    EB-2

    China - July 8, 2006
    India - May 8, 2006.
    All other countries - current.

    EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers

    China - January 22, 2004
    India - March 15, 2002
    Mexico - January 8, 2004.
    All other countries - July 1, 2005.

    EB-3 Other Workers

    China - April 22, 2003
    India - March 15, 2002.
    Mexico - May 1, 2003.
    All other countries - June 15, 2003.

    EB-5

    Current for all subcategories and countries.

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