Cutoff dates for EB-3 Philippines retrogress by two and a half years, cutoff dates for EB-2 India advance by five and a half months, cutoff dates in EB-2 China advance by one year, cutoff dates for EB-3 China advance by four months, and cutoff dates for EB-3 for Mexico and the Rest of the World advance by six weeks.

The US Department of State (DOS) has released its June 2015 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority date cutoffs that regulate the flow of adjustment of status (AOS) and consular immigrant visa applications. Foreign nationals may file applications to adjust their statuses to that of permanent residents or to obtain approval of immigrant visas at a US embassy or consulate abroad, provided that their priority dates are prior to the respective cutoff dates specified by the DOS.

What Does the June 2015 Visa Bulletin Say?

The June 2015 Visa Bulletin shows an advancement of five and a half months for the cutoff dates for the EB-2 India category. EB-3 cutoff dates for the worldwide category will advance by six weeks, the EB-2 cutoff dates for China will advance by one year, the EB-3 cutoff dates for China will advance by four months, and the EB-3 cutoff dates for the Philippines will retrogress by two and a half years. 
The cutoff date for F2A applicants in China, India, Philippines, and the Rest of the World will advance by one month in June. The cutoff date for F2A applicants from Mexico remains unchanged.

EB-1: All EB-1 categories will remain current.

EB-2: The cutoff date for applicants in the EB-2 category chargeable to India will advance to October 1, 2008. The cutoff date for applicants in the EB-2 category chargeable to China will advance to June 1, 2013. The EB-2 category for all other countries will remain current.

EB-3: The cutoff date for applicants in the EB-3 category chargeable to India will advance by one week to January 22, 2004. The cutoff date for applicants in the EB-3 category chargeable to China will advance by four months to September 1, 2011. The cutoff date for applicants in the EB-3 category chargeable to Mexico and the worldwide category will advance by six weeks to February 15, 2015. The cutoff date for applicants in the EB-3 category chargeable to the Philippines will retrogress by two and a half years to January 1, 2005.

EB-5: The cutoff date for applicants in the EB-5 category chargeable to China remains unchanged at May 1, 2013. The cutoff dates for applicants in the EB-5 category chargeable to the worldwide category remain current.

The relevant priority date cutoffs for foreign nationals in the EB-2 category are as follows:

China: June 1, 2013 (forward movement of 365 days)
India: October 1, 2008 (forward movement of 169 days)
Mexico: Current
Philippines: Current
Rest of the World: Current

The relevant priority date cutoffs for foreign nationals in the EB-3 category are as follows:

China: September 1, 2011 (forward movement of 123 days)
India: January 22, 2004 (forward movement of 7 days)
Mexico: February 15, 2015 (forward movement of 45 days)
Philippines: January 1, 2005 (retrogression of 911 days)
Rest of the World: February 15, 2015 (forward movement of 45 days)

The relevant priority date cutoffs for foreign nationals in the EB-5 category are as follows:

China: May 1, 2013 
Rest of the World: Current

Developments Affecting the EB-2 Employment-Based Category

Mexico, the Philippines, and the Rest of the World 
The EB-2 category for applicants chargeable to all countries other than China and India has been current since November 2012. The June Visa Bulletin indicates no change to this trend. This means that applicants in the EB-2 category chargeable to all countries other than China and India may continue to file AOS applications or have applications approved through June 2015.

China
The May Visa Bulletin indicated a cutoff date of September 1, 2011 for EB-2 applicants chargeable to China. The June Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of September 1, 2012, reflecting forward movement of one year. This means that applicants in the EB-2 category chargeable to China with a priority date prior to September 1, 2012 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in June 2015.

India
The May Visa Bulletin indicated a cutoff date of April 15, 2008 for EB-2 applicants chargeable to India. In June, the cutoff date for EB-2 applicants chargeable to India advances by five and a half months to October 1, 2008. This means that applicants in the EB-2 category chargeable to India with a priority date prior to October 1, 2008 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in June 2015.

Developments Affecting the EB-3 Employment-Based Category

China 
The May Visa Bulletin indicated a cutoff date of June 1, 2011 for EB-3 applicants chargeable to China. In June, the cutoff date for EB-3 applicants chargeable to China advances by five and a half months to September 1, 2011. This means that applicants in the EB-3 category chargeable to China with a priority date prior to September 1, 2011 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in June 2015.

India 
The May Visa Bulletin indicated a cutoff date of January 15, 2004. The June Visa Bulletin will advance slightly, with a cutoff date of January 22, 2004, an advancement of one week. This means that EB-3 applicants chargeable to India with a priority date prior to January 22, 2004 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in June 2015.

The Philippines
The May Visa Bulletin indicated a cutoff date of July 1, 2007. The June Visa Bulletin will retrogress by two and a half years, with a cutoff date of January 1, 2005. This means that only EB-3 applicants chargeable to the Philippines with a priority date prior to January 1, 2005 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in June 2015.

Mexico 
The May Visa Bulletin indicated a cutoff date of January 1, 2015 for EB-3 applicants chargeable to Mexico. The June Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of February 15, 2015, reflecting forward movement of six weeks. This means that applicants in the EB-3 category chargeable to Mexico with a priority date prior to February 15, 2015 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in June 2015.

Rest of the World 
The May Visa Bulletin indicated a cutoff date of January 1, 2015 for EB-3 applicants chargeable to the worldwide category. The June Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of February 15, 2015, reflecting forward movement of six weeks. This means that applicants in the EB-3 category chargeable to the worldwide category with a priority date prior to February 15, 2015 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in June 2015.

Developments Affecting the F2A Family-Sponsored Category

The May Visa Bulletin indicated a cutoff date of August 8, 2013 for F2A applicants from Mexico. The June Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of August 8, 2013, reflecting no change. This means that applicants from Mexico with a priority date prior to August 8, 2013 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in June 2015.

The May Visa Bulletin indicated a cutoff date of September 1, 2013 for F2A applicants from all other countries. The June Visa Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of October 1, 2013, reflecting forward movement of one month. This means that F2A applicants from all other countries with a priority date prior to October 1, 2013 may file AOS applications or have applications approved in June 2015.

Developments in the Coming Months

Regarding the retrogression of visa numbers for EB-5 China, the DOS notes that “It is extremely likely that this category will remain subject to a cut-off date indefinitely.”

Regarding the retrogression of visa numbers for EB-3 Philippines, the DOS notes that “Continued heavy applicant demand for numbers has required a second retrogression of these cutoff dates. Further corrective action cannot be ruled out.”

How This Affects You

Priority date cutoffs are assessed on a monthly basis by the DOS, based on anticipated demand. Cutoff dates can move forward or backward or remain static. Employers and employees should take the immigrant visa backlogs into account in their long-term planning and take measures to mitigate their effects. To see the June 2015 Visa Bulletin in its entirety, please visit the DOS website.