Sep 2013 Visa Bulletin: Good News in FB2A, EB2 & EB3

The anxiously-awaited September 2013 U.S. Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin, which is the final visa bulletin for fiscal year 2013 (FY13), contains good news for the family-based, second preference “A” (FB2A) category and the employment-based, second preference (EB2) category for India. There are also positive developments in the employment-based, third preference category (EB3) for nationals of all countries.

Visa Bulletin Summary

Family-Based, Second Preference “A” (FB2A)

The FB2A category for spouses and (unmarried, minor) children of U.S. lawful permanent residents (LPRs or “green card” holders) became current throughout the category in August 2013 for the first time. As predicted, this category continues to be current for the month of September 2013. The DOS indicates that making this category current has generated increased demand for the applicable visa numbers. Accordingly, the DOS expects to impose a cutoff date in October 2013 in this category.

Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1)

This category remains current for all countries of chargeability.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)

EB2 remains current for all chargeability areas, with the exception of India and China. There is good news for some, as the EB2 India cutoff date advances by over five months to June 15, 2008. China’s EB2 cutoff date remains stagnant at August 8, 2008.

The five-month jump in EB2 India is due to the availability of excess visa numbers in the EB1 category and unused numbers in the EB2 category for other countries. These excess numbers are made available to oversubscribed countries to avoid allowing visa numbers to go unused by the end of the fiscal year. The DOS expects that this movement will create significant EB2 India demand for visa numbers. Thus, the DOS does not expect further forward movement of the EB2 cutoff dates over the next few months, following September 2013.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)

There is significant advancement throughout the EB3 category. During September 2013, the cutoff date for all chargeability areas except those listed, as well as for China and Mexico, jumps forward by one-and-a-half years, to July 1, 2010. The Philippines cutoff date advances by a few months, to December 1, 2006. India’s cutoff date, while lagging far behind, moves forward by eight months, to September 22, 2003.

The DOS explains that earlier advancements in the EB3 category cutoff dates did not generate the expected level of visa number demand. Therefore, the DOS has seen fit to advance the cutoff dates significantly, yet again, in an effort to generate sufficient demand in this category. As with the EB2 category, the DOS does not expect to continue to advance the EB3 dates in the upcoming months. Retrogression is possible, if there is an upswing in demand in the EB3 category.

Other Workers Category

With the exception of China, the EB3 other workers’ cutoff dates are the same as the general EB3 cutoff dates. The EB3 other workers’ category cutoff date for China moves to June 15, 2004.

Employment-Based Fourth (EB4) and Fifth (EB5) Preference

These categories remain current for all countries of chargeability.


The advancement in EB2, India, in the August 2013 Visa Bulletin has resulted in a regular flow of green card approvals for individuals with earlier-filed adjustment of status applications (form I-485). The continued advancement both in EB2 and EB3 will allow for approvals to continue throughout September. It also makes it possible for individuals with priority dates that are current under the September Visa Bulletin to move forward with their I-485 filings. The Murthy Law Firm is available to assist those who need guidance or legal representation in connection with their I-485 filings.

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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.