February Visa Bulletin: EB2 India Advancement Begins

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) February 2015 Visa Bulletin brings some good news for the employment-based, second preference (EB2) India category. The more long-term predictions for this category, however, are less encouraging. There is also movement in the employment-based, third preference (EB3) category.

Employment-Based, First, Fourth and Fifth Preferences (EB1, EB4 and EB5)

The EB1, EB4, and EB5 categories continue to be current for all countries of chargeability. EB1 and EB4 are expected to remain current in upcoming months. The EB5 category for investors is expected to have a cutoff date established for China by summer and, potentially, earlier. The other countries of chargeability are expected to remain current in EB5.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)

The EB2 category continues to be current for all countries, except for India and China. The EB2 India cutoff date advances by almost seven months, to a new cutoff date of September 1, 2005. The EB2 China cutoff date advances by over a month, to March 15, 2010.

While EB2 India remains quite backlogged, it is favorable that the advancement of the cutoff date has begun early in fiscal year 2015 (FY15). The DOS initially predicted that advancement in this category would not occur until June or July 2015, as explained in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, Analysis, Predictions and Trends: January 2015 Visa Bulletin Update (24.Dec.2014).

Still, there is some cause for concern in the EB2 India category. The DOS now predicts that the cutoff date in this category will advance AT LEAST four to six MONTHS per month, through May. Typically, there is more significant EB2 advancement toward the end of the fiscal year, in June, July, and August. However, information provided by the DOS after the February 2015 Visa Bulletin was released indicates that this end-of-the-year movement may be less dramatic this year; the DOS warns that, because of high demand in this category, the EB2 India cutoff date may only advance as far as summer 2009. The Murthy Law Firm will provide additional details in the coming days.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)

The EB3 worldwide category continues to exhibit significant advancement. The new cutoff date of January 1, 2014 is seven months beyond the prior cutoff date. This cutoff date is shared by Mexico and the Philippines. EB3 China moves forward by six months, to a cutoff date of September 1, 2011. EB3 India’s cutoff date advances slightly, to December 22, 2003.

The DOS expects to continue the high level of movement in EB3 worldwide for the next few months. China’s cutoff date is also expected to continue to advance rapidly in upcoming months. India, however, remains highly oversubscribed and will advance only up to two weeks per month, under DOS predictions.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Other Workers

The cutoff dates in the category of EB3 other worker are, with one exception, the same as the cutoff dates in the regular EB3 category. The exception is China, which has a cutoff date of August 15, 2005.


The February 2015 Visa Bulletin brings some good news, but also a word of caution for applicants in the EB2 India category. MurthyDotCom will continue to closely monitor developments related to the visa bulletin.


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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.