March 2014 Visa Bulletin and Short-Term Predictions

The March 2014 Visa Bulletin has been released by the U.S. Department of State (DOS), offering little in the way of movement or surprises. Perhaps the most significant change is the retrogression of the family-based, second preference “A” (FB2A) category for anyone born in Mexico who is being sponsored as the spouse or (unmarried, minor) child of a lawful permanent resident (LPR or “green card” holder). The March 2014 Visa Bulletin also offers a few predictions for the coming months, but these forecasts are in line with what already was widely expected.

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

The cutoff date for FB2A cases for all countries of chargeability, except Mexico, remains unchanged at September 8, 2013. For people born in Mexico, the cutoff date rolls back more than 16 months, to April 15, 2012.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)

The EB2 category remains current for all countries of chargeability, except China and India. EB2 China moves forward by about five weeks to February 15, 2009, while EB2 India holds steady for a fourth-straight month at November 15, 2004, much to the frustration of Indian nationals.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)

The EB3 category continues to move forward for all countries, but more so for some than others. EB3 India and EB3 Philippines inches forward by two weeks, with India moving to September 15, 2003, and the Philippines progressing to May 1, 2007. All other countries of chargeability advance by three months, to September 1, 2012.

Predictions for Movement of FB and EB Categories

The March 2014 Visa Bulletin predicts that, in the coming months, most family-based categories will move at a modest pace of two-to-seven weeks per month. The lone exception to this is the FB2A category, which is likely to see no forward movement.

For employment-based cases, EB2 China is expected to advance three-to-five weeks per month. EB2 India will likely not move forward at all, while the remaining countries of chargeability are predicted to remain current.

For the EB3 category, the only forward movement anticipated is for the Philippines, with three-to-six weeks of advancement per month. The visa bulletin hints that EB3 worldwide may even retrogress, depending upon the number of adjustment of status (I-485) cases filed in the near future.


Those who may feel confused by the visa bulletin and the movement of priority dates are encouraged to read the MurthyDotCom InfoArticle, Priority Dates: How Do They Work? Although there is nothing particularly unexpected in the March 2014 Visa Bulletin, the Murthy Law Firm will continue to closely monitor the visa bulletin, to provide readers with updates and predictions as information is made 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.