Visa Bulletin Update and Predictions: April 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 April 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 April 2015 Visa Bulletin becomes effective on April 1, 2015. Until then the January 2015 Visa Bulletin remains in effect. If you file an application for adjustment of status (Form I-485) 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 remains at February 1, 2005 this month. Availability for Mexico moved forward from October 22, 1994 to November 1, 1994. Availability for everyone else remains at August 1, 2007.
Second Preference (F2A) Spouses and Unmarried Children Under 21 of US Permanent Residents: Visa availability for Mexico has moved from May 22, 2013 to July 8, 2013. Availability for all other countries has moved from June 22, 2013 to August 1, 2013.
Second Preference (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters Over 21 of US Permanent Residents: Visa availability for the Philippines has moved from March 22, 2004 to April 1, 2004. Visa availability for Mexico has moved from January 1, 1995 to February 1, 1995. Availability for all other countries moved forward from July 8, 2008 to August 22, 2008.
Third Preference (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of US Citizens: Visa availability for the Philippines has moved from August 1, 1993 to August 8, 1993. Availability for Mexico has moved forward from February 22, 1994 to April 1, 1994. Availability for all other countries has moved forward from January 22, 2004 to February 8, 2004.
Fourth Preference (F4) Siblings of US Citizens: Visa availability for the Philippines moved forward this month from September 8, 1991 to September 22, 1991. Availability for Mexico moved from June 1, 1997 to July 8, 1997. Availability for all other countries moved from May 15, 2002 to June 15, 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 has jumped forward from January 1, 2007 to September 1, 2007. The DOS has predicted that the EB-2 category for India will continue to advance at a steady pace for another couple months before slowing or stopping toward the end of the fiscal year, which ends in September. Availability for China jumped ahead from September 1, 2010 to April 1, 2011. This is a result of a decrease in demand in the EB-2 China category over the past few months from applicants who wanted to benefit from the fact that the EB-3 China category had moved ahead of the EB-2 China category. The DOS has said that they may continue to move the EB-2 China category forward if the demand for the EB-2 category does not increase. 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 January 1, 2004 to January 8, 2004. Unfortunately, the DOS has said that there are so many approved petitions in the EB-3 India category that the visa numbers for EB-3 India will likely not be moved forward more than a week or two per month for a while. Availability for China was moved backwards from October 22, 2011 to January 1, 2011 for Professionals and Skilled Workers. This was due to an increase in demand in the EB-3 China category over the past few months from applicants who wanted to benefit from the fact that the EB-3 China category had moved ahead of the EB-2 China category. Availability for China remains at August 15, 2005 for the second week in a row for Other Workers. Availability for all other countries has been moved forward six months from June 1, 2014 to October 1, 2014. The DOS has predicted that they will probably be a big movement of visa availability for the EB-3 in the China, Mexico and Worldwide categories in May as well.
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. The DOS predicts that the EB-5 category for Chinese nationals will probably remain current until at least June, but may retrogress after that.
DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY
The DV-2015 visas available in February are:
All other countries in Africa: 30,700
N.A. Bahamas: 6
S.A. and Caribbean: 1,025
The availability for the DV-2015 winners for March is expected to be:
All other countries in Africa: 32,700
N.A. Bahamas: 6
S.A. and Caribbean: 1,025
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.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.