July 2013 Visa Bulletin: EB Cutoff Date Movement Predictions

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) July 2013 Visa Bulletin carries predictions for future cutoff date movement in the employment-based (EB) categories. Of significant note to many MurthyDotCom readers is that, although the employment-based, second preference (EB2) category for India remains stagnant for the time being, the July Visa Bulletin does provide some reason for optimism.

Visa Bulletin Summary

Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1)

This category remains current for all countries of chargeability, and is expected to remain current for the foreseeable future.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)

EB2 is still current, and is expected to remain current for all countries of chargeability, except India and China. China’s cutoff date advances to August 8, 2008. The DOS predicts that China’s cutoff date will continue to advance by approximately two months each month from August through October 2013.

Predictions of Movement in EB2 Dates for India

The EB2 cutoff date for India remains unchanged at September 1, 2004. However, the DOS expects to move the cutoff date for EB2 India in August and/or September 2013. The DOS did not indicate the expected extent of this long-awaited forward movement in the Visa Bulletin. However, Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Immigrant Visa Control Unit at the DOS, informed the Murthy Law Firm that his best-case expectation for movement in EB2 India is a cutoff date of February 2008.

The reason for this anticipated movement, as explained by the DOS, is that it appears there will be enough “otherwise unused” numbers in the EB2 category to allow for movement in EB2 India. That is, the DOS can shift visa numbers within EB2 from countries of chargeability with excess numbers to India and China, where there is more demand than supply. This shift generally occurs at the end of the fiscal year, to avoid losing or wasting any visa numbers. Chief Oppenheim stressed that the February 2008 date is purely an estimate of the most favorable potential cutoff date in this category.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)

The cutoff dates in EB3 for all chargeability areas except those listed, as well as China and Mexico, move forward again to January 1, 2009. The Philippines cutoff date inches forward to October 1, 2006. India’s cutoff date also advances, to January 22, 2003.

The DOS predicts that the movement in EB3 all chargeability areas except those listed, as well as China and Mexico, will not continue in the upcoming months. No additional movement is expected, as this category has moved forward by eighteen months in the past three months. EB3 India is expected to have up to three weeks of advancement per month; the Philippines should see up to two weeks forward movement per month for the next few months.

Other Workers Category

The EB3 other workers’ cutoff dates continue to match the general EB3 cutoff dates, with the exception of China. The EB3 other workers’ category cutoff date for China moves significantly to March 22, 2004.

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

These categories remain current for all countries of chargeability. This is expected to continue.

Conclusion and Predictions

The July 2013 Visa Bulletin includes some encouraging news for EB2 India, and the hope that the cutoff date may move from the September 1, 2004 date that has been in place for all of FY13. MurthyDotCom readers will be updated as new information is made available.

Copyright © 2013, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

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.