• September 2015 Visa Bulletin: Significant Retrogression for EB-2 China and India; Moderate Advancement Worldwide for EB-3
  • August 14, 2015
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • United States

    In its final visa bulletin for Fiscal Year 2015, the State Department announced that in September, EB-2 China and India will retrogress dramatically to January 1, 2006, with China moving backward by more than seven years and India moving backward by more than two years. Though the State Department has not provided an explanation for the significant retrogression, it has likely been imposed to ensure that immigrant visa numbers for China and India are not exhausted before the end of the fiscal year. All other EB-2 categories will remain current.

    The EB-3 subcategory for professionals and skilled workers will advance moderately across the board. EB-3 China, India and the Philippines will move ahead by six months, to December 22, 2004, while all other countries will remain virtually current with a one month advance to August 15, 2015. The same cut-off dates will apply in the Other Workers EB-3 subcategory, with the exception of China, which will remain unchanged at January 1, 2004.

    EB-5 China continues to be backlogged, but in keeping with the State Department’s projections of moderate advancement for China, this subcategory will advance by three weeks to September 22, 2013.

    When the FY 2016 immigrant visa quota becomes available on October 1, EB-2 China and India could return to or surpass the dates announced for August 2015 - when China held a cut-off date of December 13, 2013 and India held a date of October 1, 2008. The State Department also indicated in its August visa bulletin that EB-3 China could return to a September 2011 cut-off date for professional and skilled workers and a January 2006 cut-off date for other workers in the new fiscal year.

    September 2015 Priority Date Cut-Offs

    In September 2015, EB immigrant visa priority date cut-offs will be:

    EB-1
    Current for all countries.

    EB-2
    China: January 1, 2006
    India: January 1, 2006
    All other countries: Current

    EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers
    China: December 22, 2004
    India: December 22, 2004
    Philippines: December 22, 2004
    All other countries: August 15, 2015

    EB-3 Other Workers
    China: January 1, 2004
    India: December 22, 2004
    Philippines: December 22, 2004
    All other countries: August 15, 2015

    EB-5
    China: September 22, 2013
    Current for all other countries and subcategories