Philippine EB-3 Has Advanced Over 6 Years in Past 12 Months

By Reuben S. Seguritan

December 31, 2014

The January 2015 Visa Bulletin shows that the worldwide employment-based third preference (EB-3) cut-off date which includes the Philippines has advanced by 7 months from November 1, 2012 in December to June 1, 2013. China has advanced by 9 months to March 1, 2011 and India by 2 weeks to December 15, 2003.

The Philippine EB-3 cut-off date has jumped dramatically by 6 years and 3 ½ months in the past 12 months. In January 2014, the cut-off date was February 15, 2007. Such rapid movement is likely to increase the demand for visa numbers and this may require corrective action. Retrogression is a possibility in the coming months.

China’s employment-based second preference has advanced by one month to February 1, 2010 but India is unchanged at February 15, 2005.

The employment-based second preference (EB-2) remains current for all other countries. All the other employment preferences remain current for all countries.

The family-based preferences (F-1 to F-4) move slowly. The worldwide preference cut-off dates are as follows: F-1 – July 8, 2007; F-2A – April 15, 2013; F-2B – April 1, 2008; F-3 – December 22, 2003 and F-4 – March 22, 2002.

The Philippines cut-off dates are: F-1 – December 22, 2004; F-2A – April 15, 2013; F-2B – February 1, 2004; F-3 – July 8, 1993 and F-4 – July 15, 1991.

Because of the annual numerical limitation of visa numbers, cut-off dates are established for oversubscribed categories. If an applicant’s priority date is before the cut-off date stated in the monthly visa bulletin, a visa number is immediately available. If the priority date comes on or after the cut-off date, the applicant needs to wait until the priority date becomes current.

The family-based 1st preference category (F-1) refers to unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, while the F-2A preference refers to spouses and children (less than 21 years old) of permanent residents.

The F-2B preference category refers to unmarried sons and daughters (21 years or older) of lawful permanent residents. The F-3 preference refers to married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. The F-4 preference pertains to brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens.

Beneficiaries of employment-based and family-based preferences who have priority dates earlier than the aforementioned cut-off dates and are currently in the U.S., must file their adjustment application in order to get certain interim immigration benefits such as employment authorization and travel permit. Those with pending adjustment applications will be allowed to remain in the U.S. and work here until the adjudication of their adjustment applications.

Eligible to file for adjustment of status are those lawfully present in the United States or those who are beneficiaries under Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. To be covered under Section 245(i), an alien must be the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition or labor certification properly filed on or before April 30, 2001. If the visa petition or labor certification was filed after January 14, 1998, the alien must prove that he/she was in the U.S. on December 21, 2000.

Among the documents required to file for adjustment of status, in addition to Form I-485 and related forms, are the applicant’s photographs, medical examination report, affidavit of support, copy of passport and I-94, copy of birth certificate, and if applicable, copy of the applicant’s marriage certificate and official proof of termination of any prior marriage.