The U.S. State Department has just released the January 2013 Visa Bulletin which is the fourth Visa Bulletin for the FY2013 fiscal year. The major headline in the upcoming month’s Visa Bulletin is the lack of movement (again) in EB-2 India. Many have been looking forward to this Visa Bulletin in order to gauge the anticipated rate of the forward movement in EB-2 India over the next months; unfortunately, it seems that EB-2 India may continue to face a very slow (if any) forward movement over the next months. There is notable forward movement in EB-3 China of more than two and a half months.
Summary of the January 2013 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based (EB)
Below is a summary of the January 2013 Visa Bulletin with respect to employment-based petitions:
- EB-1 remains current across the board.
- EB-2 for ROW, Mexico and Philippines are all now current. EB-2 India remains unchanged, again, at (the severely retrogressed) September 1, 2004. EB-2 China moves forward by six (6) weeks to December 8, 2007.
- EB-3 ROW and EB-3 Mexico move forward by five (5) weeks to February 1, 2007. EB-3 Philippines remains unchanged at August 15, 2006, EB-3 China moves forward by eleven (11) weeks to September 22, 2006, while EB-3 India moves forward by only one (1) week to November 8, 2002.
- The “other worker” category moves forward by five (5) weeks for ROW and Mexico to February 1, 2007. It remains unchanged at August 15, 2006 for Philippines and remains unchanged (again) at July 1, 2003 for China. It moves forward by one (1) week for India to November 8, 2002.
Summary of the January 2013 Visa Bulletin – Family-Based (FB)
Below is a summary of the January 2013 Visa Bulletin with respect to family-based petitions:
- FB-1 continues to move forward. FB-1 ROW, China and India all move forward by three (3) weeks to December 22, 2005. FB-1 Mexico moves forward by only one (1) week to July 8, 1993 and FB-1 Philippines moves forward by eight (8) weeks to December 22, 1997.
- FB-2A moves forward by one (1) month to September 22, 2010 for ROW, China, India, and Philippines. FB-2A Mexico moves forward by one (1) month to September 1, 2010.
- FB-2B ROW, China and India all move forward by three (3) weeks to December 8, 2004. FB-2B Mexico moves forward by three (3) weeks to November 22, 1992 while FB-2B Philippines moves forward by three (3) weeks to April 15, 2002.
No Progress in EB-2 India – Suggests Very Slow Forward Movement in the Future?
Similar to the past couple of months, many in the EB-2 India community have been eagerly anticipating to see what the January 2013 Visa Bulletin would look like in an effort to “predict” how quickly the cutoff dates in EB-2 India would move in the future. Unfortunately, the January 2013 Visa Bulletin does not bring good news. The lack of any movement in EB-2 India (again) this month is a strong indication that there is simply too high of a demand in the EB-2 India category and that the Department of State would move the cutoff dates forward very slowly in order to allow USCIS to approve the (high) number of EB-2 cases filed and pending. This is the Department of State’s way to “control” the demand of visas in this category (number of new I-485 filings) and to allow USCIS to work through the number of filed and pending I-485 applications in this category (many of whom are by now eligible for AC21 porting, however).
The movements (or the lack thereof) reflected in the January 2013 Visa Bulletin confirm the predictions and the comments made by Mr. Charles Oppenheim, the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division at the U.S. Department of State. The lack of movement in EB-2 India confirms Mr. Oppenheim’s comments that EB-2 India will move very slowly over the next months. Based on the significant retrogression two months ago and the lack of any movement this month, combined with Mr. Oppenheim’s expectations, we expect that there will be very slow and gradual forward movement in this category over the next months.
Further Updates and News
We invite you to subscribe to our free weekly immigration newsletter to receive timely updates on this and related topics. We also invite you to contact us if our office can be of any assistance in your immigration matters or you have any questions or comments about the January 2013 Visa Bulletin. Finally, if you already haven’t, please consider our Visa Bulletin Predictions tool which provides personalized predictions and charts helping you understand when a particular priority date may become current and what are the movement patterns.