Immigration Attorneys Who Are Competent

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

The U.S. Department of State has released the March 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”
NationPriority Date Cut-Off
China – mainland bornCurrent
IndiaCurrent
MexicoCurrent
PhilippinesCurrent
All Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedCurrent

The First Preference (EB-1) Priority Workers category has been and continues to be current for all nations.

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 bornFebruary 15, 2009
IndiaNovember 15, 2004
MexicoCurrent
PhilippinesCurrent
All Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedCurrent

Global Glimpse: Green cards are immediately available for nationals of Mexico, the Philippines, and the rest of the world who have an approved I-140 in the Second Preference Employment-Based immigrant visa category. Contact the Law Firm of Shihab & Associates to learn what your next step is in obtaining your green card.

The EB-2 visa category for Chinese nationals is progressing at a monthly rate whereas EB-2 visa availability for Indian nationals continues to be at a standstill.

China: Since the February 2014 Visa Bulletin was released, the EB-2 visa category has progressed by over one month, from January 8, 2009 to February 15, 2009. Last March, the EB-2 visa category’s priority date cut-off for China nationals was February 15, 2008. If your priority date is before February 15, 2009, a green card is available to you. Contact us today to learn what your next step should be.

Given the monthly and annual trend it is likely that we will see the priority date cut-off for Chinese nationals continue to progress at a monthly rate. Hence, if your priority date falls sometime in March 2009, it is likely that a green card will be available to you in April of this year. Contact us to speak with an experienced immigration attorney about how to prepare to file for your green card.

India: The priority date cut-off for Indian nationals seeking a green card under the EB-2 visa category has been stagnant since the December 2013 retrogression. The March 2014 Visa Bulletin does not bring good news, as the priority date cut off continues to linger at November 15, 2004. You can expect the priority date cut-off to linger here until later summer or early fall, when it is predicted that the priority date will return to pre-retrogression times.

If your priority date is before November 15, 2004 and you still haven’t applied for a green card, contact us to get the ball rolling on your path to permanent residence.

Third Preference Employment-Based Visas:
“EB-3, Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers” and “The Other Workers” Categories
NationPriority Date Cut-Off
China – mainland bornSeptember 1, 2012
IndiaSeptember 15, 2003
MexicoSeptember 1, 2012
PhilippinesMay 1, 2007
All Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedSeptember 1, 2012

Global Glimpse: The Third Preference Employment-Based (EB-3) visa category is oversubscribed for the entire world. Although it was predicted that we may see the EB-3 visa category retrogress sometime this year, that hasn’t happened yet. Keep your fingers crossed. The cut-off date for China, Mexico, the Philippines and the rest of the world advanced forward three months in the March 2014 Visa Bulletin. The cut-off date for India finally progressed after months of stagnation.

China: From February to March 2014, the priority date cut-off for EB-3 visas and visas for Other Workers from China jumped ahead three months, from June 1, 2012 to September 1, 2012. Keep in mind that it has been predicted that the EB-3 category for Chinese nationals will continue to move ahead more rapidly than the EB-2 category. Contact the Law Firm of Shihab & Associates to discuss whether filing under EB-3 is a better option than EB-2, even if you qualify for EB-2.

If your priority date is before September 1, 2012, contact us to apply for your green card!

India: The priority date cut-off for the EB-3 and Other Workers visa category for Indian nationals has finally budged after remaining stagnant since the category retrogressed in December 2013. Although the progression was slight, only advancing from September 1, 2003 to September 15, 2003, this minor progression is still welcomed movement. If your priority date is before September 15, 2003, contact us to take advantage of this progress!

Mexico and All Other Chargeability Areas: Similar to China, the priority date cut-off for the EB-2 and Other Workers visa categories has moved forward by three months, from June 1, 2012 to September 1, 2012. If your priority date is before September 1, 2012, it’s time to file your green card application.

Philippines: There was only a slight progression of the priority date cut-off for the EB-3 and Other Worker visa categories for the Philippines, advancing two weeks, from April 15, 2007 to May 1, 2007. Contact us if your priority date is before May 1, 2007 and we will be happy to assist you in applying for your green card.

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.

A priority date cut-off may be imposed for China EB-5 visas around June of this year due to the increased EB-5 applications coming in from China. The demand for EB-5 visas around the world has increased as well. Thus, if you plan on filing under the EB-5 visa category, you should begin now to stay ahead of the curve. Contact the Law Firm of Shihab & Associates to get started.

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

Client Reviews
I had a really hard case then after dealing with many attorneys I decided to work with Mr Shihab and his office and that was the best decision I took, how professional they are, how good and fast they are I was treated from day 1 like a family member not just a client
★★★★★
Atty. Shihab helped me navigate several issues that I had never faced before... he made it easy and supported me immediately if I had any questions, and his suggestions were top-notch. Avvo user
★★★★★
If you want to hire the best Immigration Attorney, hire Attorney Shihab. He will go above and beyond anyone's expectations, and stays on top of your case. He keeps you informed and up to date on deadlines, interviews and what to expect. Keith
★★★★★
Atty Shihab's record really speaks for itself, but more importantly, each client is treated with the upmost respect and dignity. He and his entire staff makes you feel as if you are the only client in their office. Rhonda
★★★★★
Mr. Shihab was recommended to me when the attorney my sister and I used failed to process our papers on time. From the beginning, I have consistently experienced exemplary service and very thorough knowledge of his profession. Amruta
★★★★★