We all watch the Visa Bulletin closely to see when an immigrant visa number becomes available to apply for a green card. We compare a client’s priority date with the priority date in the Visa Bulletin. The priority date in the Visa Bulletin reflects the priority of the latest case that has a visa number available. The priority dates in the Visa Bulletin are driven by supply and demand for visa numbers. There are many variables involved.
Why do EB-3 India priority dates advance so slowly? There are thousands of applicants waiting for visa numbers. However there is an annual limit in this category of approximately 2,875 visa numbers in 2015.
Will EB-3 Worldwide priority dates become current anytime soon? If so, what would that mean for EB-3 India priority dates? The State Dept. does not anticipate that EB-3 Worldwide priority dates will become current anytime soon. In fact, priority dates may stop advancing in 2015. If the priority dates in the Worldwide EB-3 category ever do become current then any extra visa numbers will help alleviate the wait for India EB-3 applicants.
Has President Obama’s Executive Actions helped with visa number availability? Yes, one example is that priority dates have advanced at a more rapid pace and much earlier in the year, as compared to prior years.
What news does the April 2015 Visa Bulletin bring?
EB-2 India: After the priority date advanced 16 months in March, the priority date advanced another eight months in April, to September 1, 2007. The State Dept. predicts the priority date will continue to advance at a steady pace for another couple of months. Toward September 2015, the priority date will not advance any more.
EB-3 Worldwide, Mexico, and Philippines: The priority date advanced another four months to October 1, 2014. Predictions are that there may be another big advance in the priority date in these categories in May.
EB-3 China: There is a retrogression of more than nine months to January 1, 2011. Thus, the priority date has moved back in time and makes the wait longer for a visa number.
Stay tuned for more updates on the crazy world of immigrant visa numbers!
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will publish regulations tomorrow that will extend eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 spouses of H-1B workers who are seeking employment-based green cards. This initiative is an important element of President Obama’s Immigration Executive Action. The government will begin accepting applications from eligible H-4 spouses on May 26, 2015.
Eligible individuals include H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who:
This landmark change will bring U.S. immigration policies more in line with those laws of other countries that compete to attract similar highly skilled workers.
USCIS estimates the number of individuals eligible to apply for employment authorization under this regulation could be as high as 179,600 in the first year and 55,000 annually thereafter. Once the H-4 spouse receives an Employment Authorization Document, he or she may begin working in the United States. Our office will contact eligible, current clients in advance of the effective date to begin the application process.
The Department of Homeland Security may test a “Known Employer” pilot program to streamline processing of certain types of employment-based immigration applications submitted by eligible U.S. employers. Expected to launch by late 2015, the program is designed to:
More information about the pilot program is expected in the coming months. Stay tuned!
Advancement of 2-4 weeks is expected in the family-sponsored categories.
On January 1, California enacted Assembly Bill 60, allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses California. While having an AB 60 driver’s license is an important benefit for some individuals, we recommend that undocumented individuals consult with a licensed and trusted attorney before applying for an AB 60 driver’s license to avoid potential pitfalls.
The benefits of obtaining an AB 60 driver’s license:
The risks of obtaining an AB 60 driver’s license: