The U.S. State Department has just released the March 2013 Visa Bulletin which is the sixth 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 continued notable forward movement in EB-3 China of almost two months.
Summary of the March 2013 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based (EB)
Below is a summary of the March 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 four (4) weeks to February 15, 2008.
- EB-3 ROW and EB-3 Mexico move forward by six (6) weeks to May 1, 2007. EB-3 Philippines moves forward by only one (1) week to September 1, 2006, EB-3 China moves forward by nine (9) weeks to January 22, 2007, while EB-3 India moves forward by only one (1) week to November 22, 2002.
- The “other worker” category moves forward by six (6) weeks for ROW and Mexico to May 1, 2007. It moves forward by one (1) week to September 1, 2006 for Philippines and remains unchanged (again) at July 1, 2003 for China. It moves forward by one (1) week for India to November 22, 2002.
Summary of the March 2013 Visa Bulletin – Family-Based (FB)
Below is a summary of the March 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 four (4) weeks to February 15, 2006. FB-1 Mexico moves forward by only one (1) week to July 22, 1993 and FB-1 Philippines moves forward by over seven (7) months to October 15, 1998.
- FB-2A moves forward by one (1) month to November 22, 2010 for ROW, China, India, and Philippines. FB-2A Mexico moves forward by five (5) weeks to November 15, 2010.
- FB-2B ROW, China and India all move forward by six (6) weeks to March 1, 2005. FB-2B Mexico moves forward by four (4) weeks to January 15, 1993 while FB-2B Philippines moves forward by three (3) weeks to June 8, 2002.
Again: No Progress in EB-2 India – Confirms Our Expectations for a Very Slow Forward Movement in the Future?
Similar to the past several months, many in the EB-2 India community have been eagerly anticipating to see what the March 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 March 2013 Visa Bulletin does not bring good news. Halfway through the fiscal year, the continued lack of any movement in EB-2 India 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 March 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 of few 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
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