FB-2A Will Be Current in August; EB-2 Cutoff Date for India Advances Three Years
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) August 2013 Visa Bulletin was released last week. As previously projected by DOS, the family-based second-preference (FB2A) category for spouses and children of lawful permanent residents (or green card holders) will become current for all nationalities in the month of August. In addition, the cutoff date for the employment-based second-preference (EB-2) category for India will move forward significantly to January 1, 2008, an advancement of more than three years.
As background, the monthly Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority date cutoffs that regulate the flow of adjustment of status (AOS) and consular immigrant visa applications. Foreign nationals may file applications to adjust their status to that of permanent resident or to obtain approval of an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad, provided that their priority dates are prior to the respective cutoff dates specified by the DOS.
This means that spouses and children of lawful permanent residents with approved or pending I-130 petitions may now file AOS applications or have applications approved through August 2013. DOS has indicated that this category is expected to remain “Current” for the next several months in order to stimulate an increased level of demand in this category. DOS has reported that although there is a large registered FB2A demand, there are currently not enough applicants (NVC fees paid for consular processing and AOS cases filed) who are actively pursuing final action on their case to fully utilize all of the available numbers.
Additionally, EB-2 individuals chargeable to India with a priority date prior to January 1, 2008 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in August 2013. From October 2012 until now, the cutoff date for EB-2 individuals from India has been September 1, 2004. The August Visa Bulletin indicates that this cutoff date has been advanced in an effort to fully utilize the numbers available under the EB-2 annual limit. It is expected that such movement will generate a significant amount of demand from individuals chargeable to India during the coming months, which could lead to significant retrogression in the new fiscal year, starting October 1, 2013. Consequently, AOS applications filed in September 2013 may be received and receipted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); however, adjudication could be delayed.