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The U.S. State Department Visa Bulletin March 2015  holds largely positive news. The trend continues towards significant progression in the employment-based, third preference (EB3) category. India moved forward to January 2004, and the cut-off date for EB-3 applicants from China advanced to October 22, 2011. The cut-off date for Mexico, Philippines and all other countries moved to June 1, 2014.

The cut-off date for applicants in the EB-2 category (professionals holding advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability) for India made a forward leap by one year and four months to January 1, 2007, and for China by approximately six months to September 1, 2010.

H-2B Cap reached for the first half of the fiscal year 2015

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has reached the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the first half of fiscal year 2015. January 26, 2015 was the final receipt date for new H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date prior to April 1, 2015.

  • USCIS will reject new cap-subject H-2B petitions that were received after January 26, 2015, and that request an employment start date prior to April 1, 2015.
  • No cap numbers from the first half of FY 2015 will be available in the second half of FY 2015, which begins April 1, 2015.

Currently, the H-2B cap set by Congress is 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 allocated for employment beginning in the first half of the fiscal year (October 1 to March 31) and 33,000 allocated for employment beginning in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 to September 30).

Disclaimer: The U.S. State Department Visa Bulletin is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further enquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact the Regional Immigration Manager, Americas, Laura Taggart: ltaggart@crownww.com

 

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