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March Visa Bulletin

The Visa Bulletin for next month – March 2014 – has been released, and there hasn’t been much movement and even some stagnation. How the visa bulletin works is that every month, based on a complicated formula, the State Department publishes a chart for green card visa availability. The quota is based on one’s priority date. A priority date for a green card seeker based on an employer or business relationship is based on the date of the petition filed with USCIS or the date the labor certification application is accepted for processing by the Department of Labor (if labor certification is required). A priority date for a green card seeker based on a family relationship is based on the date the petition is filed with USCIS.

EMPLOYMENT BASED

There is a mix of good news and bad news for people seeking employment-based green cards. All of the categories that remained current in February are also current in March. Green card seekers from China will also be happy to know that the EB3 (skilled workers and professionals) and Other Workers (unskilled workers) categories have moved forward by three months to September 1, 2012. However, the EB2 category (advanced degree holders and persons of exceptional ability) only moved forward for one month for China to February 15, 2009. Green card seekers in the EB2 category from India were unfortunately hit with a standstill at November 15, 2004, and the EB3 category only saw modest movement of two weeks forward to September 15, 2003. Mexico’s EB2 and EB3 categories also moved forward together by three months to September 1, 2012. Green card seekers from the Philippines in the EB2 and EB3 categories similarly moved forward, but by only two weeks to May 1, 2007. For all other countries, the EB3 and Other Workers subcategory moved forward three months to September 1, 2012.

MARCH 2014 (DD/MON/YY)

Employment- Based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed China – mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C 15FEB09 15NOV04 C C
3rd 01SEP12 01SEP12 15SEP03 01SEP12 01MAY07
Other Workers 01SEP12 01SEP12 15SEP03 01SEP12 01MAY07
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
5th
Targeted
EmploymentAreas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs
C C C C C

FEBRUARY 2014 (DD/MON/YY)

Employment- Based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed China – mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C 08JAN09 15NOV04 C C
3rd 01JUN12 01JUN12 01SEP03 01JUN12 15APR07
Other Workers 01JUN12 01JUN12 01SEP03 01JUN12 15APR07
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
5th
Targeted
EmploymentAreas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs
C C C C C

FAMILY BASED

For the family based categories, there has generally been positive movement all around, but each country has suffered either a standstill or even retrogression. For Chinese green card seekers, most of the family based categories have moved forward by a month except the F2A (spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters of green card holders) and F4 (brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens) categories. China’s F2A category saw no movement and is stuck at September 8, 2013, while China’s F4 category only saw movement by about two and a half weeks to November 8, 2001. India saw the exact same movements as China. Mexico unfortunately was hit with a retrogression in its F2A category, meaning that the priority date was moved back by over a year to April 15, 2012. Movement in the visa categories in the Philippines were mostly stagnant, except a one month movement forward in the F4 category to September 1, 1990 and a two week movement forward in the F2B category (Unmarried sons and daughters of green card holders) to June 8, 2003. For green card seekers from all other countries, there was modest movement of a month forward for all categories except for the F2A category, which remained stagnant.

MARCH 2014 VISA BULLETIN (DD/MON/YY)

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 01FEB07 01FEB07 01FEB07 15OCT93 15AUG01
F2A 08SEP13 08SEP13 08SEP13 15APR12 08SEP13
F2B 01SEP06 01SEP06 01SEP06 01MAY93 08JUN03
F3 15JUN03 15JUN03 15JUN03 08JUN93 15FEB93
F4 08NOV01 08NOV01 08NOV01 15NOV96 01SEP90

FEBRUARY 2014
VISA BULLETIN (DD/MON/YY)

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 01JAN07 01JAN07 01JAN07 01OCT93 15AUG01
F2A 08SEP13 08SEP13 08SEP13 01SEP13 08SEP13
F2B 08JUL06 08JUL06 08JUL06 01MAY93 22MAY03
F3 15MAY03 15MAY03 15MAY03 01JUN93 08FEB93
F4 22OCT01 22OCT01 22OCT01 08NOV96 08AUG90

IF you have questions about how to receive a green card, the visa bulletin, or any other immigration questions, contact our office today.

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