The Department of State’s Visa Office’s predictions as to how the priority dates will move for the next several months appear in the March Visa Bulletin:


FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)

    Worldwide dates:

  • F1:  Three or four weeks
  • F2A:  Three to five weeks
  • F2B:  Three to five weeks
  • F3:  One or two weeks
  • F4:  Up to two weeks

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)

     Employment First:  Current

     Employment Second:

  • Worldwide:  Current
  • China:  Three to six weeks 
  • India:  No movement.  Despite the established cut-off date having been held for the past five months in an effort to keep demand within the average monthly usage targets, the amount of demand being received from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Offices for adjustment of status cases remains extremely high.  Should the current rate of demand continue, it is likely that at some point the cut-off date will need to be retrogressed in an effort to hold demand within the FY-2013 annual limit.  

     Employment Third:

  • Worldwide:  Four to six weeks
  • China:  Two to three months
  • India:  Up to two weeks
  • Mexico:  Four to six weeks
  • Philippines:  Up to one week

     Employment Fourth:  Current

     Employment Fifth:  Current

  • Item D of the December 2012 Visa Bulletin alerted readers that a China cut-off date might be imposed at some point during the second half of the fiscal year.  Currently there is no reason to believe that it will be necessary to establish a China Employment Fifth preference category cut-off date during FY-2013, since demand over first six months of FY-2013 has now averaged out to a manageable level.

The above projections for the Family and Employment categories are for what is likely to happen during each of the next few months based on current applicant demand patterns.  Readers should never assume that recent trends in cut-off date movements are guaranteed for the future.  The determination of the actual monthly cut-off dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables which can change at any time.  Those categories with a “Current” projection will remain so for the foreseeable future.