Mixed bag of developments, mostly on the stand-by, status quo situation for this month of flowers – remember the tradition Flowers of May?

If visa categories were flowers, one can say that others bloomed while others withered or remain in their current state.

Pollination causes flowers to bloom mainly through insects, the most popular attributed to the bees as they move from flower to flower or flower to plants and vice versa. The abiotic pollination (caused by wind) is another factor.

For this month, under the Family-based categories, the F1 (Over 21, unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens) remained unpollinated on Feb. 1, 2005 since March this year.

Married sons and daughters of US citizens saw their F3 category moved only 2 weeks from last month. Compared with last year, the cut-off dates retrogressed for almost a year (see the accompanying table, below).

Due to formatting issues, please note that there are four columns. The first column represents the Visa Categories, followed by the visa dates of May 2009; the 3rd column represents the visa dates for May 2014 and the 4th of last column the visa dates for May 2015.

Category     May 2009             May 2014             May 2015

F1             Aug. 1, 1993             Feb. 1, 2002         Feb. 1 2005
F2A         Oct. 8, 2004               Sep. 8, 2013         Sep. 1,2013
F2B         Feb. 1, 1998               Jun. 22,2003         Apr. 22,2004
F3            Jun. 22, 1991             Mar. 1,1993         Aug. 15, 1993
F4             Jul, 8, 1986               Nov 1, 1990         Oct. 22, 1991
EB/OW     Unavail.                   Nov. 1, 2007         Jul. 1, 2007

Over 21 unmarried sons and daughters of green card holders’ category (F2B) moved three weeks from April. Over a one year period, this category moved 10 months and over a five-year period the F2B moved 6 years and 2 months.

The F2A (spouses and minor children of green card holders) and the F4 (brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens) both moved a month from April this year. The difference over a one-year period is striking: the F2A almost went back to its old cut-off date in 2014. The F4 on the other hand, moved forward almost a year.

The Employment-based categories in the 3rd preference category EB3 and Other Workers wilted instead of blooming. This category moved back seven (7) years- a cause for gloom and would likely remain in this state given world conditions (when war, discord, and economic stagnation in countries with US visa allocations  cause a rush for visas) and the the stand-off between the Obama administration and the Republican-dominated Congress. Both parties have conflicting views about immigration especially granting legal status to the undocumented population.  Without additional visa allocation, the backlog will persist.

If you're an RN, a healthcare or non-healthcare professional affected by this 7-year retrogression, what can you do?  For RNS: Since NCLEX has now replaced Canada's licensure for foreign nurses, you may want to explore visa options to Canada (working or immigrant visas through the Express Entry or Provincial Nominee Program including Quebec option. For Non-RNs, a job offer through relatives or friends in any of the Canadian province will add 600 points towards invitation for permanent residency. 

Should U.S. business climate continue to improve, this sector could lobby to have more working visas. Once in the U.S. on working visas, several options to residency become available.

Why do visas move forward and backward? Watch this video for the answer - https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=777670078983170&set=vb.110143899069128&type=2&theater

Got a question? Let us know - we're here to help.

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