Blogs on Immigration Law and Policy

by Carl Shusterman

The July 2013 Visa Bulletin, and Beyond

The July 2013 Visa Bulletin contains good news for those waiting in line under the worldwide employment-based third category (professionals, skilled and unskilled workers). The category advances another 4 months in July. The waiting time is now 4 1/2 years, down from 6 years just a few months ago. In contrast, the India EB-3 priority date advances only 2 weeks. The EB-3 category for the Philippines moves ahead only 1 week. The worldwide EB-2 category remains current (no backlog), but while EB-2 PRC advances 3 weeks, EB-2 India does not move at all.

The Senate CIR bill would eliminate all per-country EB quotas. Write your Senators and Representatives now, and ask them to support this important modification to our broken immigration system!

The worldwide family-based preference 2A category moves forward 4 months and the 2B category advances almost 4 months. Other worldwide family-based categories advance between 3 and 5 weeks. Family categories for the Philippines advance somewhat faster especially the F1 category which sprints ahead 6 months. Family-based waiting times for Mexico advance significantly for both the 2A and the 2B categories.

The charts below tell the story in more detail:  


Categories Worldwide China (PRC) Mexico Philippines
1st 6-1-06 6-1-06 8-22-93 7-1-00
2A 10-8-11 10-8-11 9-1-11 10-8-11
2B 11-1-05 11-1-05 11-1-93 12-22-02
3rd 10-1-02 10-1-02 4-22-93 11-22-92
4th 5-22-01 5-22-01 9-22-96 12-15-89


Categories Worldwide China (PRC) India Mexico Philippines
1st Current Current Current Current Current
2nd Current 8-8-08 9-1-04 Current Current
3rd 9-1-09 9-1-09 1-22-03 1-1-09 10-1-06
Unskilled 1-1-09 3-22-04 1-22-03 1-1-09 10-1-06
4th Current Current Current Current Current
Religious Current Current Current Current Current
5th Current Current Current Current Current




FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)

Worldwide dates: F1: Up to five weeks F2A: Could become “Current” at some point during the coming months. F2B: Four to seven weeks F3: Three to five weeks F4: Three to five weeks  

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)

Employment First: Current

Employment Second: Worldwide: Current   China: Up to two months

India: At this time it appears that the availability of “otherwise unused” Employment Second preference numbers will allow for movement of this cut-off date in August and/or September. It is expected that such movement will generate heavy new applicant demand, primarily by those who are upgrading their status from the Employment Third preference category. A sustained level of heavy demand could impact the cut-off date at some point during fiscal year 2014.

Employment Third:

Worldwide: No additional movement. This cut-off date has advanced 18 months during the past three months. Such rapid movement can be expected to generate a significant amount of new demand, with the impact not being felt for three to five months. Therefore, the cut-off date will be held until it can be determined what level of demand is to be expected, and whether it is likely to be sustained.


China: No additional movement India: Up to three weeks Mexico: No additional movement Philippines: Up to two 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.

See the entire visa bulletin including information about the movement of the green card lottery numbers.

About The Author Carl Shusterman is a certified Specialist in Immigration Law, State Bar of California. He was a former U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service Attorney and worked for the Board of Governors, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.