Thursday, May 8, 2014

June 2014 Visa Bulletin

Significant and Unexpected Retrogression for EB-3 China

According to the State Department’s June Visa Bulletin, the EB-3 category will retrogress significantly for China next month. The cut-off date for China EB-3 professionals and skilled workers will retrogress by six years, to October 1, 2006, while the EB-3 other worker category will retrogress nine years, to January 1, 2003. 

For most other countries, EB-3 will retrogress by 18 months, to April 1, 2011, but will advance by two weeks for India, to October 15, 2003, and by two months for the Philippines, to January 1, 2008. 

The EB-2 category will advance by five weeks for China, to May 22, 2009, but will remain unchanged for India, at November 15, 2004. 

What the China EB-3 Retrogression Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals 

For the last several months, the State Department has advanced the EB-3 China priority date cut-off so that it has been far ahead of the cut-off date for EB-2 China. Many foreign nationals in the China EB-2 subcategory have sought new I-140 immigrant worker petitions in order to be reclassified to EB-3 and benefit from greater immigrant visa availability. The result has been a significant surge in demand for EB-3 China immigrant visa numbers, bringing the category close to exhausting its annual quota. Agency officials do not expect EB-3 China to move forward again until the next fiscal year, which begins on October 1. 

The severity of next month’s retrogression is unexpected. Though the State Department suggested that retrogression was possible, agency officials had until now indicated that the China EB-3 cut-off date was likely to remain ahead of EB-2 for the foreseeable future. That prediction has not been borne out. 

June 2014 Priority Date Cut-Offs 

In June 2014, EB immigrant visa priority date cut-offs will be: 

Current for all countries. 

China: May 22, 2009 
India: November 15, 2004 
All other countries: Current 

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers 
China: October 1, 2006 
India: October 15, 2003 
Philippines: January 1, 2008 
All other countries: April 1, 2011 

EB-3 Other Workers 
China: January 1, 2003 
India: October 15, 2003 
Philippines: January 1, 2008 
All other countries: April 1, 2011 

Current for all countries and subcategories.