The August 2013 Visa bulletin shows that the Family-based 2A preference category which refers to spouses and children of lawful permanent residents (LPR) is current for all countries.
This means that starting August 1, those who are in the U.S. may file for adjustment of status while those who are processing their immigrant visa application abroad may be scheduled for visa interview.
In announcing the visa number availability, the Department of State said that the F2A preference category will be expected to remain current for several months. Although there is a large number of F2A registrants, the Department of State explained that it had taken this step to generate an increased level of demand since not enough applicants have been actively pursuing final action on their case. This will ensure that all of its available visa numbers will be fully utilized.
The Department of State also said that at some point during Fiscal Year 2014 which covers October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014 the cutoff date could be retrogressed as a corrective action. Note that in July 2013, the cutoff date was October 8, 2011.
In light of this development, beneficiaries of family-based 2A petitions, regardless of their priority date, should file their adjustment applications. Those who have no I-130 petition should concurrently submit their I-485 and I-130 petition.
A pending adjustment application, will allow them to remain in the U.S. and work until their application is adjudicated. They may also be allowed to travel.
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 filed on or before April 30, 2001. If the visa petition or labor certification was filed between January 14, 1998 and April 30, 2001, the alien must prove that he/she was in the U.S. on December 21, 2000.
The other family-based categories will not advance significantly from the July 2013 visa availability. F1 preference which refers to unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens will advance by 3 months worldwide (9/1/06) and by 6 months for the Philippines (1/1/01).
F2B (unmarried sons and daughter 21 or older of LPRs) will advance by only a month worldwide (12/1/05) and none for the Philippines (12/22/02).
F3 (married sons and daughters of US citizens) will advance by 2 months worldwide (12/8/02) and 1 week for the Philippines (12/1/92) while F4 (brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens) will advance by 1 month worldwide (6/22/01) and 3 weeks for the Philippines (1/8/90).
There will be little or no change in the employment-based categories (EB) except for India’s EB2 category which will advance from September 1, 2004 to June 1, 2008. EB1, EB2, EB4 and EB5 will remain current. The EB3 for skilled workers and unskilled workers will have the same cutoff date of (1/1/09) worldwide but will advance by 3 weeks to 10/22/06 for the Philippines.