The U.S. State Department has just released the August 2015 Visa Bulletin which is the eleventh Visa Bulletin for the FY2015 fiscal year. The major headline in the upcoming month’s Visa Bulletin is the lack of any movement in EB-2 India, the notable forward movement in EB-3 India and the major retrogression in EB-3 China.
Summary of the August 2015 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based (EB)
Below is a summary of the August 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 remains unchanged at October 1, 2008. EB-2 China moves forward by two and a half (2.5) months to December 15 2013.
- EB-3 ROW and Mexico advance by three and a half (3.5) months to July 15, 2015. EB-3 Philippines is available again but with a cutoff date of June 1, 2004. EB-3 China retrogresses substantially by about seven years (!) to June 1, 2004 while EB-3 India advances (significantly by its standards) by four (4) months to0 June 1, 2004.
- The “other worker” categories for ROW and Mexico advance by three and a half (3.5) months to July 15, 2015 while Philippines is available with a cutoff date of June 1, 2004. Other workers China moves back by about two years back to January 1, 2004 while India advances by four (4) months to June 1, 2004.
- EB-5 China remains unchanged at September 1, 2013.
Summary of the August 2015 Visa Bulletin – Family-Based (FB)
Below is a summary of the August 2015 Visa Bulletin with respect to some family-based categories:
- FB-1 ROW, China and India move forward by one (1) month to November 1, 2007. FB-1 Mexico remains unchanged at November 15, 1994 and FB-1 Philippines also remains unchanged at March 15, 2000.
- FB-2A moves forward again — this month the forward movement is by five (5) weeks to December 15, 2013 for ROW, China, India and Philippines. It moves forward by five (5) weeks to November 1, 2013 for Mexico.
EB-3 China Major Retrogression
Many of our EB-3 China readers and clients will be alarmed by the significant retrogression in the EB-3 China category. The reason behind this sharp retrogression is the significant demand and number of filings under the EB-3 China category over the last few months as the dates were moving forward. As a result, and in order to allocate the available green card visa numbers over the remainder of the fiscal year (September 30), the Department of State has decided to move back the dates significantly to essentially stop the rate of new EB-3 China filings.
It is our expectation that once the new fiscal year begins with the October 2015 Visa Bulletin the cutoff dates for EB-3 China will return to their July 2015 levels (September 2011).
EB-2 India Unchanged – Is Any Forward Movement Likely for the Rest of the Fiscal Year?
After several months of nice forward movement during the beginning and the middle of this fiscal year, this month’s Visa Bulletin lack of movement in EB-2 India, together with last month’s lack of any movement would be disappointing to many EB-2 India applicants who were hoping for 2009 or 2010 cutoff dates by the end of the fiscal year.
EB-2 India applicants with a priority date earlier than October 1, 2008 can now move forward with their applications (or expect approvals if they have already filed their I-485 applications). Over the last few months, in our Visa Bulletin reports we have been cautioning that the rate of forward movement is slowing down, suggesting that it may eventually stop or even retrogress. The fact that the Department of State is not advancing EB-2 India over the last couple of months is a strong indication that they have sufficient applications on file to use the available visa numbers for the remainder of the fiscal year.
During a recent report Mr. Charles Oppenheim has also reported that he does not expect that there would be many EB-2 ROW spillover numbers which he can allocate to EB-2 India towards the end of the fiscal year; as a result, it appears likely that there may not be any additional forward movement in EB-2 India until the October 2015 Visa Bulletin.
EB-5 China Cutoff Date
Based on significant demand in the EB-5 category from Chinese nationals, the Department of State had introduced a cutoff date for EB-5 China over the last few months. The cutoff date for this month remains unchanged at September 1, 2013.
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 August 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 August 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.