The U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently published the Monthly Visa Bulletin for July, and since then DOS officials have offered predictions concerning likely visa availability for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2015. DOS officials forecast slower movement overall, with some categories likely to see no forward progress for the remainder of the fiscal year.

EB-3 Philippines – Visas Temporarily Unavailable

The most dramatic change in visa availability under the July Visa Bulletin is the temporary unavailability of immigrant visas for the Employment-based, Third Preference (EB-3) and “Other Worker” categories for persons born in the Philippines. Beginning July 1st, EB-3 applicants born in the Philippines will no longer be able to file Applications to Adjust Status, or have pending applications approved, until immigrant visas are again available for EB-3 Philippines. DOS officials have forecast continued unavailability under this category through at least the end of the fiscal year.

EB-2 China and China Regional Center Investor Categories Advance Four Months

The most significant advances in the July Visa Bulletin come under the Employment-based, Second (EB-2) and Regional Center Investor categories for persons born in China. EB-2 China will move forward four months, to a new cut-off date of October 1, 2013. This means that applicants with a priority date earlier than October 1, 2013, may file Applications to Adjust Status, or have pending applications approved, beginning July 1st. The Regional Center Investor category will move forward to September 1, 2013, meaning applicants with priority dates earlier than September 1, 2013, may file applications or have pending applications approved. DOS officials have forecast additional forward movement at a slower pace for the remainder of the fiscal year.

All Other Categories Hold Steady or Show Slight Forward Progress

Visa availability for all other categories and countries of birth will hold steady or advance only slightly in July. DOS officials project little change for the remainder of the fiscal year, with the exception of the EB-3 category for all countries of chargeability other than India, China, and the Philippines, which could reach a cut-off date in the summer of 2015.