Since last month’s jumps in the F2A (unmarried children and spouses of permanent residents) and EB-2 (Members of Professions holding Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability) categories, the roads to permanent residency continue to widen, this time in the Employment- Based 3rd Preference category (EB-3). The September 2013 Visa Bulletin published by the Department of State marks an unusually large leap forward for available immigrant visa numbers for applicants in the traditionally backlogged classification of EB-3. Individuals from Mexico, China and other countries (except for India and the Philippines) with priority dates of July 1, 2010 or earlier can finally file their adjustment of status applications to become permanent residents. This cut-off date reflects an 18-month advance from the January 1, 2009 date published in the August Visa Bulletin. Indian nationals saw an eight-month jump forward to September 22, 2003, while individuals from the Philippines saw even smaller advancement of only six weeks to December 1, 2006. It is unclear how long it will be before these visa numbers are again oversubscribed and retrogress as a result. Applicants with priority dates that qualify for an immigrant visa number should strongly consider filing quickly for adjustment of status this month while their window for filing is open.

The September Visa Bulletin and complete listing of visa availability for all categories may be found at:http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_6050.html