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Visa Bulletin Summary

Sep 18, 2008

A Look at the September 2008 and October 2008 Visa Bulletins

There are a number of movements in the recently released October 2008 Bulletin, which spells good news to some, but not so good, to others.

In the employment-based category:

EB1 remains current.

But EB2 slid a couple of years back for those applicants from China and India. From August 1, 2006 in the September 2008 bulletin, China took a dip to April 1, 2004 in the October 2008 bulletin. India fell three more years behind from its September 2008 cut-off date of August 1, 2006, now to a cut-off of April 1, 2003.

The EB3 category is now active, coming from its unavailable status in the September bulletin. EB3 for all chargeability areas now has a cut-off date of January 1, 2005. For China, it is October 1, 2001; India-July 1, 2001; Mexico-July 1, 2002; and the Philippines-July 1, 2005.

In the family-sponsored category:

1st (Unmarried sons and daughters of US Citizens) improved a fortnight, with a cut-off date now at April 15, 2002. This also holds true for applicants from China and India. Those from Mexico and the Philippines, remain unchanged.

2A advanced one month, from December 1, 2003 in the September bulletin to January 1, 2004 in the October bulletin. This cut-off date holds for all chargeability areas, including China, India, and the Philippines. For Mexico, coming from an unavailable status in the September bulletin, the cut-off date is now at May 1, 2001.

2B remains unchanged except for the Philippines, whose cut-off date improved one month from April 8, 1997 to May 8, 1997.

3A remains unchanged except for the Philippines, whose cut-off date improved a few days from April 22, 1991 to May 1, 1991.

4th category applicants see some minor movements in cut-off dates, bordering on being trivial adjustments (though understandably not to those who had been waiting for their priority dates for years now). All chargeability areas now has a cut-off date of October 22, 1997; China - May 1, 1997; and India - May 22, 1997. For Mexico and the Philippines, the dates remain unchanged.

The October 2008 Visa Bulletin is posted at the Department of State website.

Immigrant visas are numerically limited by category and by country of chargeability (country of birth). Those born in countries other than China, India, Mexico and the Philippines are part of the cut-off date for "all chargeability areas." The Visa Bulletin is an advisory of the "monthly waiting list" based on an applicant's priority date (the date on which an alien initially filed his/her petition to immigrate to the United States).

If an alien's priority date is earlier than the cut-off date published by the Department of State, it means that the alien may apply for adjustment of status.

A "current" cut-off date, signifies that there is no backlog in processing applications for that category. An "unavailable" status indicates that it is not possible to apply for permanent residence (green card) in that particular category.

Click here to download the bulletin

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