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The Department of State’s (DOS) September Visa Bulletin shows the results of heavy demand in the employment-based visa categories. The most dramatic movement is the retrogression for Chinese and Indian nationals seeking EB-2 classification. Both categories will retrogress to Jan. 1, 2006, with China EB-2 moving backwards seven years and India EB-2 moving backwards two years from last month’s bulletin.

As we have often seen, EB-2’s loss is EB-3’s gain, as Indian and Chinese nationals under the EB-3 category saw forward movement of more than six months to Dec. 22, 2004.  Visa numbers for Filipino nationals seeking EB-3 classification are no longer unavailable as those with priority dates of Dec. 22, 2004 or earlier may apply.

Other nationals seeking EB-2 remain current while other nationals seeking EB-3 advanced one month to Aug. 15, 2015.

Because the visa numbers are issued in accordance with the government fiscal year, we should see significant movement again in October 2015. Individuals who are affected by visa retrogression are encouraged to check the Department of State Visa Bulletin each month to see if visa processing dates have moved under their approval category.


Employment-Based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed China-Mainland Born India Mexico Philippines
1st C C C C C
2nd C 1/1/2006 1/1/2006 C C
3rd 08/15/2015 12/22/2004 12/22/2004 08/15/2015 12/22/2004
Other Workers 08/15/2015 01/01/2004 12/22/2004 08/15/2015 12/22/2004
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
5th Targeted Employment Areas/Regional Centers and Pilot Programs C 09/13/2013 C C C