Visa Bulletin Update: January 2015
By Ari Sauer, immigration lawyer with the Memphis, Tennessee office of the Siskind Susser Law Firm.
The US Department of State has issued the January 2015 Visa Bulletin. The DOS Visa Bulletin lists visa availability to let foreign nationals know when they can file an Immigrant Visa application or application for Adjustment of Status to obtain a green card as a US permanent resident base upon the immigrant petition filed by their relative, employer, self-petition or under the Diversity (DV) Lottery. The dates listed are the Priority Dates for immigrant petitions (i.e., I-130, I-140, I-360, etc.) or DV Lottery winner case numbers. A visa is available if your priority date is earlier than the date listed for your category and country of chargeability, or if your DV Lottery case number or a larger number is listed.
1) To read the visa bulletin, first find the appropriate chart for your case: The first chart is Family Based immigrant petitions. The second chart is Employment Based immigrant petitions. The remaining charts are for the Diversity Visa Lottery.
2) Next locate the appropriate column or row for your country of chargeablity. If your country is not listed, that means that you would fall within the All Chargeability category. The DV lottery is listed by region instead of country, although some countries within a region will be listed separately.
3) For the Family or Employment charts, locate your appropriate visa preference category from the rows listed on the left (F-1 through F-4 or EB-1 through EB-5).
4) Compare the priority date listed on the Visa Bulletin to the priority date for your petition. For the DV Lottery, compare the number listed on the Visa Bulletin to the number listed on your Congratulatory Notice.
The January 2015 Visa Bulletin becomes effective on January 1, 2015. Until then the December 2014 Visa Bulletin remains in effect. If you file an application for adjustment of status too early, your application will be rejected or denied.
FAMILY BASED IMMIGRATION CATEGORIES
Immediate Relatives: Spouses, Parents, and Unmarried Children Under 21 of US Citizens: Immediate Relative petitions do not have a limit on visa availability. They are not listed on the Visa Bulletin because there is no wait for a visa to become available for Immediate Relative petitions.
First Preference (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of US Citizens: Visa availability for the Philippines moved from December 15, 2004 to December 22, 2004. Availability for Mexico moved forward from August 15, 1994 to September 15, 1994. Availability for everyone else moved from June 22, 2007 to July 8, 2007.
Second Preference (F2A) Spouses and Unmarried Children Under 21 of US Permanent Residents: Visa availability for Mexico has moved from January 1, 2013 to February 22, 2013. Availability for all other countries has moved from March 22, 2013 to April 15, 2003.
Second Preference (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters Over 21 of US Permanent Residents: Visa availability for the Philippines has moved forward from January 15, 2004 to February 1, 2004. Availability for Mexico has moved from October 1, 1994 to November 1, 1994. Availability for all other countries moved forward from February 22, 2008 to April 1, 2008.
Third Preference (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of US Citizens: Visa availability for the Philippines has moved from June 22, 1993 to July 8, 1993. Availability for Mexico has moved forward from November 15, 1993 to December 15, 1993. Availability for all other countries has moved forward from December 15, 2003 to December 22, 2003.
Fourth Preference (F4) Siblings of US Citizens: Visa availability for the Philippines moved forward this month from June 1, 1991 to July 15, 1991. Availability for Mexico moved from March 1, 1997 to March 22, 1997. Availability for all other countries moved from February 22, 2002 to March 22, 2002.
EMPLOYMENT BASED IMMIGRATION CATEGORIES
First Preference (EB-1) Extraordinary Ability, Intracompany Transferee, or Outstanding Professor or Researcher: Visa availability in this category remains current for all countries, meaning there are visas available for all petitions.
Second Preference (EB-2) Advance Degree Professional, Exceptional Ability, or National Interest Waiver: Visas availability for India remains at February 15, 2005, where it has been since the India EB-2 number retrogressed on November 1st. It is expected that the India EB-2 category will remain at February 15, 2005 for a while. Availability for China moved from January 1, 2010 to February 1, 2010. Visa availability for all other countries is current, meaning there are visas available for all priority dates.
Third Preference (EB-3) Professional, Skilled Worker and Other Workers: Visa availability for India has moved forward from December 1, 2003 to December 15, 2003. Availability for the China 3rd Preference category for Professional Workers and Skilled Workers has jumped from January 1, 2010 to March 1, 2011. Availability for the China 3rd Preference category for Other Workers remains at July 22, 2005. Availability for all other countries has moved jumped forward a year from June 1, 2012 to June 1, 2013.
Fourth Preference (EB-4) Certain Special Immigrants: Visa availability remains current for all countries, meaning visas are available for all priority dates.
Fourth Preference (Certain Religious Workers): Visa availability remains current for all countries, meaning visas are available for all priority dates.
Fifth Preference (EB-5) Investors: Visa availability remains current for all countries, meaning visas are available for all priority dates. However, the DOS is expecting that they might have to establish a China EB-5 cut-off date sometime in 2015.
DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY
The DV-2015 visas available in January are:
All other countries in Africa: 21,000
N.A. Bahamas: 3
S.A. and Caribbean: 825
The availability for the DV-2015 winners for February is expected to be:
All other countries in Africa: 26,000
N.A. Bahamas: 5
S.A. and Caribbean: 875
- Call 901-507-4270 to schedule an appointment with me to discuss your visa application. My paralegal, Jessica Martinez, will assist you in scheduling the appointment.
By Ari Sauer.
Submit questions to Ari Sauer – The Immigration Answer Man by emailing your question to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Questions submitted by email will be posted without personal information unless specifically requested. Due to the volume of questions received, not all questions submitted will be answered. Only general questions can be answered on this blog. For answers to specific questions about your situation, please schedule a consultation appointment with attorney Ari Sauer. Sending in a question by email or any other means does not create an attorney-client relationship. * This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is an attorney with the Siskind Susser law firm. www.visalaw.com/ari
.html. On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing and the rules stated may not apply to your situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer before acting on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of Tennessee, New York and New Jersey but is eligible to assist clients from throughout the US. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed. the opinions expressed here are those of Ari Sauer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Siskind Susser.