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What to Expect in 2014

By Humera Subhani Email By Humera Subhani
December 2013
What to Expect in 2014

When can I file for an H-1B work visa? How soon should I start preparing?
The H-1B quota was quickly filled up this fiscal year (even some people filing on the first day were rejected). All projections seem to be pointing to the same situation for next year. The earliest filing date is April 1, 2014, for an H-1B start date of October 1, 2014. You should start preparing all documents no later than February or early March, so you can get any education/experience evaluations completed, as well as have your Labor Condition Application (LCA) approved well within the first date of filing. Please note that everyone applying under the Fiscal Year 2015 quota will have to maintain status until October 1, 2014, as that will be start date for all applications under that quota.

What happened to Immigration Reform?
It seemed as if there was one government problem after the other (problems with Syria, budget leading to government shutdown, and now Obamacare), which delayed any progress towards a solid immigration reform bill passing in Congress. However, all hope is still not lost, as different sources are quoting that there is still a good chance that some type of immigration relief will be passed by the end of this year, or possibly early next year. The Republicans are adamant that it will be a piecemeal approach, instead of the comprehensive immigration reform bill that was on the table earlier this year. However, at this point, frustrated immigrants are hoping for any form of relief, especially for DREAMers and for illegal immigrants looking for temporary work permits. Meanwhile, rallies, hunger strikes and protestors are calling for reform all around the country, in the hopes that Congress will finally place immigration reform at the forefront of their priorities.

Will there be a forward movement in priority dates (family or employment-based) in the upcoming months?
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued the visa bulletin for December 2013, and these are the most notable categories:

In Family-Based Categories:
The cutoff date in the FB2A category for the spouse and children of Permanent Residents holds steady at September 8, 2013 for all countries except Mexico. However, the DOS predicts that there will not be further advancement in this category in the upcoming months.

In Employment-Based Categories:
The EB2 (Advanced Degree) category is current for all countries of chargeability, except India and China. The category is expected to remain current, for all except India and China, in the coming months.

As predicted, December will see EB2 India retrogress to a cutoff date of November 15, 2004. This is the result of demand for visa numbers exceeding the available supply, due to rapid advancement of the EB2 India cutoff dates in recent months. The October DOS prediction specified that following the December 2013 retrogression, the EB2 India date would not advance prior to May 2014.

The EB3 (Skilled Workers) category is quite favorable for all countries, except India and the Philippines. The EB3 cutoff date for all countries of chargeability, China, and Mexico, advances by a full year, to October 1, 2011. India's cutoff date retrogresses by a few weeks to September 1, 2003.

The DOS expects that the advancements will not continue beyond February 2014. China's cutoff date is expected to continue to match the worldwide date. India is not expected to see any forward movement.

VISA PREFERENCE NUMBERS FOR December 2013

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

22Jul04

22Jul04

2A

15Feb09

15Feb09

2B

01Aug03

01Aug03

3rd

22Sep01

22Sep01

4th

15Jan00

15Jan00

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

01Nov07

Current

3rd

22Jul02

22Dec05

Other

15Jun02

15Nov05

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

 



 

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