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EB2/EB3 Positive Developments

Margaret W. Wong

Some great news has come out of the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin for September 2013. It is the final visa bulletin for the fiscal year but has already given much hope and joy to those looking to work in the USA.

The DOS has created new, progressive improvements for family-based, second preference "A" (FB2A) category and the employment-based, second preference (EB2) category for India. There are also encouraging advances in the employment-based, third preference category (EB3) for nationals of all countries.

MWW has itself been able to make numerous clients’ dreams to work in the USA come true thanks to these new employment based visa openings.

The FB2A category for spouses and unmarried, minor children of U.S. lawful permanent residents (has finally become current. As a result, there has been an increase in demand for applicable visa numbers, and cutoff date in October 2013 is expected to be imposed soon.

However, the EB2 remains current for all chargeability areas, with the exception of India and China. This is especially good news for India, as the EB2 India cutoff date advances over five months to June 15, 2008. China's EB2 cutoff date remains stationary at August 8, 2008.

This five-month increase for Indian nationals is a result of the sheer amount of unused numbers in EB2 application by other countries, and of the excess visa numbers in the EB1 category.

The EB3 category has had an even further push forward, due to low visa number demand. The cutoff date, excluding China and Mexico, is now pushed forward by one-and-a-half years to July 1, 2010. Some other countries are also excluded, and the Philippines cutoff date advanced by only a few months, to December 1, 2006. India's cutoff date, moved forward by eight months, to September 22, 2003

Already MWW has seen a significant demand for EB2 and EB3 India visa numbers. In fact, local Cleveland, OH city schools have been increasing their teaching staff, and have been issuing teachers from India. One of our clients, a female teacher from India, has finally gotten her EB3 due to the new policies. Before coming to us, she had worked with another law firm, and had not been able to obtain a green card. When we took on her case, we fought for over two years to get her green card approved. Finally, this September, we were able to make it happen.

So why apply under EB2 and EB3? The advancement in EB2 and EB3, India, has resulted in a steady flow of green card approvals for individuals with earlier-filed adjustment of status applications (form I-485). It will also allow for approvals to continue throughout September and October. This makes it possible for individuals with priority dates that are current to move forward with their I-485 filings.

However, the DOS has stated that it does not plan to continue to advance the EB3 date, and retrogression may be possible if enough demand is generated. For those looking for employment access to the US, the time to file is now.