July Visa Bulletin: No Change for EB2 India

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) July 2015 Visa Bulletin brings disappointing news on a number of fronts. The cutoff dates in the employment-based, second preference (EB2) category for India and the employment-based, third preference (EB3) category for China do not move forward at all. The EB3 category for India only advances by 10 days, and EB3 for the Philippines is unavailable altogether for the month of July.

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

As expected, the EB1 and EB4 categories remain current for all countries. The EB5 category is also current in July, with the exception of cases chargeable to mainland China. Due to high levels of demand for EB5 China, a cutoff date was established in the May Visa Bulletin. This cutoff date advances by several months, to May 1, 2013.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)

The EB2 category continues to be current for all countries of chargeability, with the exception of India and China. EB2 China advances by four months, to a new cutoff date of October 1, 2013. Unfortunately, the cutoff date for EB2 India is stagnant, remaining at October 1, 2008.

The freeze for EB2 India is in line with revised DOS predictions announced in May 2015. The DOS previously anticipated being able to advance the EB2 India cutoff date to July or August 2009 by the end of fiscal year 2015. This prediction was based upon the expected volume of available excess EB2 worldwide visa numbers, which would have been shifted for use to alleviate EB2 backlogs. Unfortunately, the demand for EB2 worldwide visa numbers spiked unexpectedly. With fewer excess EB2 visas available, the cutoff date for EB2 India cannot move ahead as much as it was hoped.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)

The EB3 cutoff date for worldwide and Mexico is close to current, with a new cutoff date of April 1, 2015. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the EB3 Philippines category is completely unavailable for the month of July. EB3 India continues to inch forward, with a new cutoff date of February 1, 2004. Meanwhile, EB3 China remains unchanged, at September 1, 2011.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Other Workers

As has been the pattern in recent months, the cutoff dates in the EB3 other workers category match those in the general EB3 category. The exception to this is China, which has a cutoff date in the EB3 other workers category of January 1, 2006.

Conclusion and Predictions

The July 2015 Visa Bulletin did not shed additional light on expectations for the EB2 India category. As mentioned above, the Philippines EB3 category is completely unavailable for July. This followed extreme retrogression in this category over the past two months. It is possible that a cutoff date will be reestablished in this category in September. MurthyDotCom will provide timely updates of visa bulletin developments as new information is made available.


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