Visa Bulletin Analysis, Predictions, and Trends: EB2 India Stalls

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) provides a monthly explanation of visa bulletin developments, as well as predictions for future cutoff date movements. The predictions for July 2015, which follow the release of the visa bulletin, include various updates, including the disappointing news that there will be no further cutoff date movement during the last few months of fiscal year 2015 (FY15) in the employment-based, second preference (EB2) category for India.

Family-Based Categories

The DOS notes that the family-based categories have shown steady advancement. This advancement has been notable in the family-based, first preference (FB1), family-based, second preference “A” (FB2A), as well as family-based, third (FB3) and fourth (FB4) preference categories. The reason for the advancement in these categories is that demand by applicants seeking to finalize their cases has not been “excessive,” according to DOS.

Employment-Based, First (EB1) and Second (EB2) Preference and Updates

The EB1 category is expected to remain current for all countries of chargeability. The EB2 worldwide category (except India and China) is also expected to remain current for the foreseeable future. EB2 China is predicted to continue advancing through the end of FY15, but at a less rapid pace.

EB2 India is not expected to advance beyond the current cutoff date of October 1, 2008 during FY15. The reason for this is that demand in the EB2 worldwide category more than doubled in the past few months. Therefore, the extra visa numbers expected to be available to EB2 India did not materialize. EB2 India advancement cannot occur this fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2015, unless there is a significant drop in EB2 worldwide demand.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Update

The DOS predicts that EB3 worldwide category (which does not include China, India, and the Philippines) will advance to summer 2015 by the end of the fiscal year. The DOS expects that the cutoff date will be held steady for an indeterminate time before a change will be required.

The EB3 cutoff date for China is expected to remain unchanged for the remainder of FY15. EB3 India is predicted to continue its pattern of advancement by one to two weeks per month. EB3 for the Philippines became unavailable in July for both the regular EB3 category and for the EB3 “other worker” category. This is expected to remain unavailable for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5) Update

The cutoff date for EB5 China advanced by four months in the July 2015 Visa Bulletin. The DOS expects to continue this advancement, with a prediction of reaching November by the end of the fiscal year. With the exception of China, EB5 remains current.


The DOS is working with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to make visa bulletin movements more predictable. The cutoff dates in the visa bulletin are based on estimates and rely on historical data. The USCIS is attempting to enhance the detail and timeliness of the data provided to the DOS for visa bulletin purposes. This would be extremely beneficial, and would help to avoid radical movements in the cutoff dates and otherwise enhance the transparency of the system.


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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.