December 2012 Visa Bulletin

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released the Visa Bulletin for December 2012, and cutoff date movement is consistent with earlier predictions. As expected, the employment-based, second preference (EB2) category remains stagnant for India. The December Visa Bulletin includes predictions for upcoming visa bulletins. This article summarizes the December 2012 Visa Bulletin, and its predictions, for the benefit of our readers.

Summary of Visa Bulletin

Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1)

This category remains current for all countries of chargeability. The DOS predicts that this category will continue to be current in upcoming months.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)

As expected, this category continues to be current for all countries of chargeability, except India and China. India and China are severely retrogressed, with India suffering the most extreme retrogression. The EB2 India cutoff date remains unchanged, at September 1, 2004. The cutoff date for China advances by over a month, to October 22, 2007.

DOS predictions for upcoming months include advancement of between five-to-eight weeks per month for EB2 China. Based upon earlier predictions explained in our NewsBrief, Priority Date Predictions for FY13 (02.Nov.2012), the DOS does not expect to be able to advance the EB2 India cutoff date at all in the coming months.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)

The EB3 cutoff date for this category, in all chargeability areas except Mexico and those listed below, advances yet again by a month. The new cutoff date, effective in the month of December 2012, is December 22, 2006. The cutoff date for the Philippines continues to inch forward, to August 15, 2006. China experiences the most advancement: more than two months. China’s cutoff date for December 2012 is July 1, 2006. As expected, India is the most retrogressed EB3 country, with a cutoff date of November 1, 2002.

For the coming months, the visa bulletin predicts that EB3 will advance three-to-five weeks per month in all chargeability areas except Mexico and those listed here. China is expected to advance by one to two months in each monthly visa bulletin. The DOS predicts that India will advance by up to two weeks per month and that the Philippines will move by one to three weeks each month.

Other Workers’ Category

The EB3 other workers’ cutoff dates match the general EB3 cutoff dates, with the exception of China, which has a cutoff date of July 1, 2003.

Employment-Based, Fourth (EB4) and Fifth (EB5) Preferences

These categories remain current for all countries of chargeability in the December 2012 Visa Bulletin. The DOS predicts that EB4 will remain current in the coming months. The DOS indicates that EB5 will also remain current in upcoming months; however, the DOS expects to set a cutoff date for China in EB5 in the second half of fiscal year 2013.


The contents and predictions in the December 2012 Visa Bulletin, while disappointing for those in EB2 India, are unfortunately not surprising. They are consistent with the prior DOS predictions, and no change is expected in the coming months. We will alert our readers to any updates or information regarding the visa bulletin as it becomes available.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.