The Department of State has released the May 2015 Visa Bulletin, a monthly report detailing the current cutoff dates for the filing or approval of green card applications in the various U.S. permanent visa categories. A person who is otherwise eligible to apply for or be granted a green card in the U.S., must have a current priority date as specified in the Visa Bulletin.
The May 2015 Visa Bulletin shows continued forward movement in all but two categories, and a warning for nationals of the Philippines. As of May 1, 2015, the priority date in the employment-based second (EB-2) preference category for Chinese nationals will advance 14 months to June 1, 2012, while the priority date in the EB-2 category for Indian nationals will advance over seven months to April 15, 2008.
The priority dates in the employment-based third (EB-3) preference for all countries except India, China, and the Philippines advanced three months to January 1, 2015, and are nearly current. EB-3 India again advanced only one week to January 15, 2004. There is a reversal of April’s bad news for nationals of China as the EB-3 priority date advanced again to May 1, 2011.
The bad news in May is for nationals of the Philippines and for Chinese investors. The EB-3 priority date for the Philippines moved backward over seven years to July 1, 2007, due to heavy demand following previous rapid advancements. This retrogression was anticipated, but came sooner than expected. Meanwhile, as expected, the priority dates in the EB-5 immigrant investor category retrogressed to May 1, 2013.
As has been the case for several months, most family-based preference categories will advance at least a few weeks.
Looking ahead, in a discussion with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the State Department’s Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, Charles Oppenheim, indicated that EB-3 Philippines could advance slowly after the May retrogression, but the family-based first preference (FB-1) category for the Philippines will likely retrogress in June or July. Mr. Oppenheim also indicated that the advancement in the EB-2 category for Indian nationals would slow down during the summer months and could possibly stop in August or September.
You can view the visa bulletin in its entirety below. Please contact us with any questions.
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