• August 2013 Visa Bulletin: EB-2 India Will Advance Significantly; F-2A Will Become Current
  • July 12, 2013
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • According to the State Department’s August Visa Bulletin, the priority date cut-off for EB-2 India will advance by three years and four months, to January 1, 2008, and the family-based F-2A category for the spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents will become current after years of backlogs. The State Department is advancing priority dates for these two categories in order to ensure that quotas are fully used by the end of the fiscal year.

    There will be no movement for most other backlogged employment-based categories. EB-2 China will remain at August 8, 2008. EB-3 will remain at January 22, 2003 for India and January 1, 2009 for China and most other countries. EB-3 priority dates for the Philippines will see the only advancement next month, to October 22, 2006.

    August 2013 Priority Date Cut-Offs

    In August 2013, EB immigrant visa priority date cut-offs will be:

    EB-1
    Current for all countries.

    EB-2
    China: August 8, 2008
    India: January 1, 2008
    All other countries: Current

    EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers
    China: January 1, 2009
    India: January 22, 2003
    Philippines: October 22, 2006
    All other countries: January 1, 2009

    EB-3 Other Workers
    China: March 22, 2004
    India: January 22, 2003
    Philippines: October 22, 2006
    All other countries: January 1, 2009

    EB-5
    Current for all countries and subcategories.

    Impact of EB-2 India Advancement

    With the advancement of the EB-2 India cut-off date, many adjustment applicants with long-pending filings could see their cases adjudicated to completion in the coming months. In preparation for the forward movement of EB-2 India, USCIS has been issuing requests for evidence in many cases, seeking updated job letters from sponsoring employers and other supplemental evidence needed to finalize adjudication.

    Indian EB-2s who were unable to file permanent residence applications when their priority dates were current in the past may have a new opportunity to file. These individuals will need to act quickly because the chance to file an adjustment or immigrant visa application could be brief. It is not known how many EB-2 India visa numbers will become available when the cut-off date advances next month, and many available numbers are likely to be captured by cases already on file, including an unspecified number of pending cases that have been upgraded from EB-3 to EB-2.

    The State Department has suggested that the EB-2 India cut-off could retrogress at some point during FY 2014.

    Family F-2A Currency

    The family F-2A category is expected to remain current for several months in order to spur demand. Though there are many foreign nationals with approved F-2A preference petitions, not all are actively pursuing permanent residence. It is thought that many are subject to bars due to unlawful presence or unauthorized employment. If demand for the F-2A category increases, the State Department could impose cut-off dates during FY 2014.