December Visa Bulletin: EB2 India retrogresses; EB3 China, Mexico & “Other” advance 1 full year

November 11, 2013

The Department of State has released the December Visa Bulletin, and it contains some fairly big news: priority dates for the third preference employment-based categories (EB3) advanced by a full year for China, Mexico, and “All Other.” Meanwhile, employment-based categories for India (EB2 & EB3) moved in the opposite direction, with the EB2 cutoff date retrogressing nearly 3.5 years in response to what the Department of State calls a “dramatic increase in the level of applicant demand received in recent months:”

The India Employment Second and Third preference category cut-off dates were advanced very rapidly at the end of fiscal year 2013.  Those movements were based strictly on the availability of thousands of “otherwise unused” numbers which could be made available without regard to the preference per-country annual limits. 

The movements have resulted in a dramatic increase in the level of applicant demand received in recent months.  This has required the retrogression of those cut-off dates for December in an effort to hold number use within the numerical limits. 

Cut off dates for Family-based preference categories for Mexico are unmoved from November. The other family-based cut-off dates moved as follows:

  • F1 will advances to November 15, 2006 (other than the Philippines and Mexico).
  • F2A remains paused at September 8th, 2013 for the 3rd consecutive month.
  • F2B will advance 3-7 weeks
  • F3 will advance 2-4 weeks
  • F4 will advance 5 weeks for the Philippines, 1-2 weeks for all other regions

December Family-Based


As mentioned, there was big movement in both directions for employment-based categories:

  • EB2 India retrogressed nearly 3.5 years
  • EB2 China advanced 1 month
  • EB3 India retrogressed 3 weeks
  • EB3 China, Mexico, and “All Other” advanced 1 year
  • EB3 Philippines advanced 24 days

December Employment-Based


The Department of State also issued the following guidance for potential movement in the coming months:

FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)

Worldwide dates:

F1:  Three to five weeks

F2A: No forward movement, the Mexico cut-off date is likely to retrogress
at some point

F2B: Three to five weeks

F3:  Three to five weeks

F4:  Two or three weeks

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)

Employment First:  Current

Employment Second:

Worldwide:  Current

China:  Three to five weeks 

India:  No forward movement

Employment Third:
Worldwide:  This cut-off date has been advanced extremely rapidly during the past seven months in an effort to generate new demand.  As the rate of applicants who are able to have action on their cases finalized increases, it could have a significant impact on the cut-off date situation.  The rapid forward movement of this cut-off date should not be expected to continue beyond February.

China:        Expected to remain at the worldwide date

India:        No forward movement

Mexico:       Expected to remain at the worldwide date

Philippines:  Three to six weeks

Employment Fourth: Current

Employment Fifth:  Current

The above projections for the Family and Employment categories are for what is likely to happen during each of the next few months based on current applicant demand patterns.  Readers should never assume that recent trends in cut-off date movements are guaranteed for the future, or that “corrective” action will not be required at some point in an effort to maintain number use within the applicable annual limits.  The determination of the actual monthly cut-off dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables.  Unless indicated, those categories with a “Current” projection will remain so for the foreseeable future.

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