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

The U.S. Department of State has released the May 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 is current worldwide and a green card is immediately available to applicants in this category. If you are interested in applying for a green card based on the EB-1 visa category, contact us today to consult with one of our experienced attorneys.

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

Global Glimpse: If you are from Mexico, the Philippines, or the rest of the world and you have an approved I-140 based on the Second Preference immigrant visa category, a green card is immediately available to you. Contact the Law Firm of Shihab & Associates to learn about how to most efficiently apply for your green card based on this category.

The priority date cut-off for applicants born in mainland China seeking classification in the Second Preference Employment-Based immigrant visa category continues to move at a monthly pace. However, the EB-2 visa category is still static.

China: As we predicted last month, the May 2014 Visa Bulletin reports that the priority date cut-off for EB-2 visas for applicants from mainland China has advanced by over one month, from March 8, 2009 to April 15, 2009. In the May 2013 Visa Bulletin, the priority date cut-off for the EB-2 category for mainland China was April 1, 2008. Given this monthly trend, we predict a green card will be available to applicants with a priority date that falls before May 15, 2009 in June 2014. Contact us today to get the ball rolling on your green card application.

India: The priority date cut off for EB-2 applicants from India continues to be November 15, 2004. The Department of State predicts that it will return to pre-retrogression dates sometime this summer.

If you would like to be prepared when your priority date becomes current, contact us to today.

Third Preference Employment-Based Visas: “EB-3, Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers” and “The Other Workers” Categories
NationPriority Date Cut-Off
China – mainland bornOctober 1, 2012
IndiaOctober 1, 2003
MexicoOctober 1, 2012
PhilippinesNovember 1, 2007
All Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedOctober 1, 2012

Global Glimpse: The Philippines takes the gold for greatest progression in the May 2014 Visa Bulletin for the EB-3 visa category, jumping ahead nearly five months. The cut-off date for China, Mexico and the rest of the world did not change from April to May 2014. The cut-off date for India progressed forward by two weeks after being inert from March to April 2014. We are just glad that the EB-3 category has not retrogressed, despite predicts that it was possible earlier this year.

China, Mexico and All Other Chargeability Areas: This May, the priority date cut off for applicants in the EB-3 categories from China, Mexico and the rest of the world is lingering at October 1, 2012 since the April 2014 Visa Bulletin. Please note that 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’re from China and you’d like to learn more about the benefits of filing under the EB-3 category even if you qualify under the EB-2 category.

India: The May 2014 Visa Bulletin reports a small progression since April 2014, moving ahead two weeks from September 15, 2003 to October 1, 2003. Contact us if your priority date is before October 1, 2003 and you’re ready to apply for your green card.

Philippines: The Philippines continues to make significant strides in the EB-3 visa category in May 2014. The May 2014 Visa Bulletin reports an almost five month leap, from June 15, 2007 to November 1, 2007. If your priority date is before November 1, 2007, you’re next in line to receive a green card. Contact us today to get the ball rolling.

Other Employment-Based Immigrant Visas:

The Fourth Preference (“EB-4”) visas category and the Fifth Preference (“EB-5”) visa category are current, meaning a green card is immediately available to applicants in these categories.

Despite earlier predictions of the possibility of imposing a cut-off date for the EB-5 visa category, it appears that the Department of State no longer believes this action to be necessary, as demand has been lower than expected.

Filing under the EB-4 or EB-5 categories requires the skill of a knowledgeable and experienced immigration attorney. Contact the Law Firm of Shihab & Associates to give you the peace of mind that your EB-4 or EB-5 visa application is properly filed.

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

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