The U.S. State Department has just released the March 2015 Visa Bulletin which is the sixth Visa Bulletin for the FY2015 fiscal year. The major headline in the upcoming month’s Visa Bulletin is the significant (16-week) forward movement in EB-2 India and the continued forward movement in the EB-3 preference category (even though some slowdown is noticeable).
Summary of the March 2015 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based (EB)
Below is a summary of the March 2015 Visa Bulletin with respect to the employment-based categories:
- EB-1 remains current across the board.
- EB-2 for ROW, Mexico and Philippines are all current. EB-2 India moves forward significantly by sixteen (16) months to January 1, 2007. EB-2 China moves forward by four and a half (4.5) months to September 1, 2010.
- EB-3 ROW, Mexico and Philippines advance by five (5) months to June 1, 2014. EB-3 China advances by seven (7) weeks to October 22, 2011 while EB-3 India advances by only one (1) week to January 1, 2004.
- The “other worker” categories for ROW, Mexico and Philippines advance by five (5) months to June 1, 2014. EB-3 China remains unchanged at August 15, 2005 while EB-3 India advances by one (1) week to January 1, 2004.
Summary of the March 2015 Visa Bulletin – Family-Based (FB)
Below is a summary of the March 2015 Visa Bulletin with respect to some family-based categories:
- FB-1 ROW, China and India all move forward by only one (1) week to August 1, 2007. FB-1 Mexico moves forward by three (3) weeks to October 22, 1994 and FB-1 Philippines moves forward by three (3) weeks to February 1, 2005.
- FB-2A moves forward again – it moves forward by six (6) weeks to June 22, 2013 for ROW, China, India and Philippines. It also moves forward by one (1) month to May 22, 2013 for Mexico.
Another EB-2 India Significant Forward Movement
Most people who follow closely the movements in the Visa Bulletin with respect to EB-2 India were surprised last month when the Department of State announced that EB-2 India would move forward by four to six months per month over the next several months. This month’s Visa Bulletin brings another (good for EB-2 India) surprise – the forward movement this month is of sixteen months, to January 1, 2007. EB-2 India applicants with a priority date earlier than January 1, 2007 can now move forward (or expect news, hopefully approval) with their applications.
We continue to anticipate significant forward cutoff date movements for the next few months – by four to six months per Visa Bulletin.
EB-3 Continues to Move Forward Significantly
Another notable and important development in the March 2015 Visa Bulletin is the continued notable forward movement in the EB-3 categories. Most of the EB-3 categories have advanced by five months, with EB-3 China moving forward by only seven weeks. This should be welcome news to many EB-3 applicants (except EB-3 India where the forward movement is only of one week) who may be eligible for I-485 filings or processing of their immigrant visas at the U.S. Consulates abroad. We are happy to provide a free quote for preparing and filing your I-485 application to those EB-2 India and EB-3 applicants (and other) who are seeing an advancing and current (or soon to be current) priority date.
While it appears that the rate of forward movement in EB-3 is decreasing, it should be noted that these categories have been advancing rapidly over the last few months and some slowdown should be expected.
Current Priority Date?
Our office stands ready to assist in the applicable process to take advantage of a current (or close to current) priority date. Those applicants whose priority dates are current as of the March 2015 Visa Bulletin may be eligible to process their (and their family members’) I-485 Adjustment of Status applications from within the U.S. or process their immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if our office can help you take advantage of this (very time-sensitive for some) opportunity to file I-485 applications. We are also happy to provide a free quote for preparing and filing your I-485 application.
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 March 2015 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.