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Huge Jump Expected in Visa Availability in August 2013

Both immigration attorneys and individuals who have had to wait for a green card may be familiar with the Department of State's Visa Bulletin, which provides month-by-month updates on when visas become available. Below are the visa bulletin numbers for July 2013:

Family-Sponsored All Other Countries CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 01JUN06 01JUN06 01JUN06 22AUG93 01JUL00
F2A 08OCT11 08OCT11 08OCT11 01SEP11 08OCT11
F2B 01NOV05 01NOV05 01NOV05 01NOV93 22DEC02
F3 01OCT02 01OCT02 01OCT02 22APR93 22NOV92
F4 22MAY01 22MAY01 22MAY01 22SEP96 15DEC89
Employment- Based All Other Countries CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C 08AUG08 01SEP04 C C
3rd 01JAN09 01JAN09 22JAN03 01JAN09 01OCT06
Other Workers 01JAN09 22MAR04 22JAN03 01JAN09 01OCT06
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
Employment Areas/
Regional Centers and Pilot Programs

Visa Bulletin Basics

The "C" stands for "Current," which means visas are immediately available and no additional waiting (other than processing and adjudication times) is required. Any of the fields with dates are called "priority dates," and are determined by the date a relative petition, labor certification application, or employment based petition is submitted. As an example, those who have a petition that fits under the F2A category (spouses and children of Legal Permanent Residents a.k.a. green card holders) and are from India means that anyone who filed a petition before October 8, 2011 now has a visa number available to them. The group with the longest wait time is the brothers and sisters of United States Citizens from the Philippines; only those who have petitions filed from before December 15, 1989 have visas currently available.

Future Visa Predictions - The Huge Jump

This backlog is created by statutory requirements, political influence, historical events, and other factors that have been the focus of many immigration reform discussions. Mr. Charles Oppenheimer, the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division at the U.S. Department of State., has predicted a huge jump for several visa categories next month. Mr. Oppenheim is the person responsible for the monthly and annual visa number allocations for family- and employment-based green cards. He is also the person who prepares and publishes the monthly visa bulletin.

The biggest jump in the family-based categories will come in the F2A category, which consists of the spouses and children of green card holders. This category is expected to become "Current," meaning immediately available, sometime next month in August.

The employment-based categories may also experience major advancements in visa availability. Although currently the EB-2 Category for India has a priority date of September 1, 2004, it may jump to January 2008. However, for those in the EB-3 Category from all other countries except from China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines may not see any advancement until October 2013 due to the already fast-paced advancement this category has experienced in the past three months.

If you have any questions about how these visa availability advancements could affect your current or potential case, please contact our office to speak with one of our attorneys.

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