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April 2014 Processing Times for Employment-Based (EB) Immigrant Visas

The U.S. Department of State has released the April 2014 Visa Bulletin. Below is an analysis of the current visa bulletin along with a discussion of the monthly and annual trends and predictions for future visa bulletins. To learn more about how to interpret the visa bulletin, check out our article: Understanding Immigrant Visa Allocation and Processing Times: A Story of Supply and Demand.

Our experienced attorneys at the Law Firm of Shihab & Associates have decades of combined immigration experience. If you have questions about the Visa Bulletin and how it applies to you, contact us today for a consultation.

First Preference: “EB-1: Priority Workers”

The First Preference (EB-1) Priority Workers category is current across the board and a green card is immediately available to applicants in this category worldwide. Contact us today to find out if you are eligible for a green card in this category.

Second Preference Employment-Based Visas: “EB-2: Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability”
NationPriority Date Cut-Off
China – mainland bornCurrent
IndiaCurrent
MexicoCurrent
PhilippinesCurrent
All Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedCurrent

Global Glimpse: If you are a national of Mexico, the Philippines, and the rest of the world and you have an approved I-140 in the Second Preference Employment-Based immigrant visa category, a green card is immediately available to you. If you qualify for the Second-Preference immigrant visa category, there is no wait for your green card. Contact the Law Firm of Shihab & Associates to speak with an experienced attorney about obtaining your green card.

The priority date cut-off for nationals of mainland China in the Second Preference Employment-Based immigrant visa category is continues to move along at a monthly rate. However, the EB-2 visa category remains at a standstill for Indian nationals.

China: The priority date cut-off for EB-2 visas for nationals born in mainland China has progressed by three weeks, from February 15, 2009 to March 8, 2009, since the March 2013 Visa Bulletin was released. This time last year, the priority date cut-off for the EB-2 category for mainland China was April 1, 2008. Thus, this category is moving at about a steady monthly rate. Given this trend, you can expect that if your priority date falls sometime in the first half of April, a green card will be available to you in May of this year. Contact us to so you are ready to receive your green card in May. If your priority date is before March 8, 2009, Contact us today to learn about the next steps in obtaining your green card.

India: The priority date cut off for Indian nationals under the EB-2 category has been lingering at November 15, 2004 since the category retrogressed in December. We don’t expect this to change until mid to late summer, when it is anticipated that it will return to the pre-retrogression date.

If your priority date is before November 15, 2004 and you’ve been procrastinating, contact us to today to tackle your to-do list.

Third Preference Employment-Based Visas: “EB-3, Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers” and “The Other Workers” Categories
NationPriority Date Cut-Off
China – mainland bornMarch 8, 2009
IndiaNovember 15, 2004
MexicoCurrent
PhilippinesCurrent
All Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedCurrent

Global Glimpse: The cut-off date for China, Mexico and the rest of the world advanced forward one month since the March 2014 Visa Bulletin was released. The cut-off date for India went back to being stagnant after it finally budged last month. Luckily, the EB-3 category has not retrogressed, despite predictions of possible retrogression earlier this year.

China: After the three-month leap we saw in the EB-3 visa category for Chinese nationals in the March 2014 Visa Bulletin, we’ve only seen a one month progression, from September 1, 2012 to October 1, 2012, reported for April 2014. Green cards continue to be more readily available in the EB-3 visa category than the EB-2 visa category for nationals of mainland China. Contact the Law Firm of Shihab & Associates if you’re priority date is before October 1, 2012 or if you’d like to learn more about strategies for filing under the EB-3 category even if you qualify under the EB-2 category.

India: The March 2014 Visa Bulletin teased us with the two week progression. Unfortunately, the April 2014 Visa Bulletin did not report any additional progression for the EB-3 visa category for Indian nationals –the priority date remains at September 15, 2003. Contact us today if your priority date is before September 15, 2003 and you haven’t yet filed for your green card.

Mexico and All Other Chargeability Areas: The priority date cut-off for the EB-2 and Other Workers visa categories for Mexico and the rest of the world has moved forward by one month, from September 1, 2012 to October 1, 2012. Last April, the priority date cut off for these areas was July 1, 2007. Hence, significant progress has been made in the past year. If your priority date is before October 1, 2012, it’s time to file your green card application.

Philippines: The EB-3 visa category progressed most for the Philippines in the April 2014 Visa Bulletin, jumping over one month, from May 1, 2007 to June 15, 2007. Last April, the priority date cut-off was September 8, 2006. Thus, this category is progressing a little slower than a monthly rate. Contact us if your priority date is before June 15, 2007 to move forward with the green card application process.

Other Employment-Based Immigrant Visas:

Green cards for applicants under the Fourth Preference (“EB-4”) visas category and the Fifth Preference (“EB-5”) visa category are immediately available to applicants from all nations.

We have been reporting that Mr. Oppenheim previously predicted that the EB-5 category might retrogress this year. He has since indicated that the EB-5 category will continue to be current for the foreseeable future. Mr. Oppenheim indicated that currently, the USCIS is issuing EB-5 visas at 15 % under the EB-5 limit and unless there is a significant increase in demand for the EB-5, the category will not be oversubscribed.

Filing under the EB-4 or EB-5 categories can be an unwieldy process and requires the knowledge of an proficient and refined immigration lawyer. Contact the Law Firm of Shihab & Associates to consult with an experience immigration attorney to assist you in filing for under the EB-4 or EB-5 visa categories.

For a chart showing all processing times described above, click here.

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