March Visa Bulletin – Retrogression for F2A Mexico; EB3 advances for all regions; No movement for EB2 India

February 18, 2014

The long promised retrogression for F2A Mexico will happen in March, according to the Department of Labor’s newest update to the Visa Bulletin. Meanwhile, all EB3 regions will see advancement of cutoff dates, with China, Mexico, and “All Other” moving forward by 3 months. See below for a complete breakdown of the Visa Bulletin, plus forward guidance from the DOL.

Family-Based Categories

The big news for family-based categories is that F2A Mexico will retrogress significantly, from September 1, 2013 all the way back to April 15, 2012. This comes after F2B Mexico retrogressed 11 months in the February bulletin.

Dates for the other F2A categories are unchanged from the February bulletin, while most other Family-Based categories advanced 1 week to 2 months:

  • The Philippines saw no advancement for F1 and F2A, and advanced 1-3 weeks for F2B, F3, and F4
  • Aside from the F2 categories, Mexico saw advancement of 1-2 weeks;
  • China, India, and “All Other” saw advancement of 1 month for F1 and F3; 2 months for F2B and F4

March Family-Based

Employment-Based Categories

Among non-current categories, only EB2 India failed to advance. EB3 and Other Workers advanced across the board, with China, Mexico, and “All Other” advancing a full 3 months.

March Employment-Based

Notes From the DOL

The DOL offered this as explanation for the retrogression of Mexico F2A:

Continued heavy demand in the Mexico F2A category has resulted in the retrogression of this cut-off date to hold number use within the annual numerical limit.

It should be noted that there are many applicants with priority dates which are earlier than any listed cut-off dates. A cut-off date does not mean that everyone with a priority date before such date has already processed their case to conclusion, and received a visa. 

In addition, they offered detailed forward guidance regarding what to expect in subsequent months:

FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)

Worldwide dates:

F1:  Two to four weeks

F2A:  No forward movement is expected

F2B:  Four to seven weeks

F3:  Four to six 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 over four and one half years since last spring in an effort to generate new demand. After such a rapid advance of a cut-off date applicant demand for number use, particularly for adjustment of status cases, can be expected to increase significantly. Once such demand begins to materialize at a greater rate it could have a significant impact on this cut-off date situation. Little, if any forward movement of this cut-off date is likely during the next few months. 

China:  Will remain at the worldwide date

India:  Little if any movement

Mexico:  Will 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 several 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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