February 2014 Visa Bulletin: EB-2 & EB-3 Advances for Most Countries but India

U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released the February 2014 Visa Bulletin which is the fifth Visa Bulletin for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014.  The cutoff dates for Employment-Based second preference (EB-2) and for Employment-Based third preference (EB-3) for all counties except India and Philippines have moved by two months. The cutoff dates for EB-2 India remains at November 15, 2004 and for EB-3 India remains at September 1, 2003.

In the family based category for spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents (F-2A), the cutoff date remains at September 8, 2013 for all counties other than Mexico.  The level of demand during recent months for Mexico F-2A & F-2B has been heavy and DOS has predicted Mexico F-2A is expected to retrogress in the spring of FY 2014.  If the return rate for this visa category decreases, the retrogression may come sooner than spring of FY 2014.  DOS has informed American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) that there is 50% return rate worldwide for F-2A visa which may be due to the fact that some applicants will convert to Immediate Relative visas in order to take advantage of the Provisional Waiver Program or some marriages, may terminate before visa is available.  DOS also anticipates that F-2A worldwide visa preference category will retrogress by the last quarter of FY 2014.  

We will continue to monitor developments on this front and will provide our readers with additional information once we receive it from the DOS.