19 December 2013
Category News Room
19 December 2013,

There is an interesting phenomenon occurring in the employment based visa bulletin wherein the third preference category (EB-3) for Chinese Nationals has jumped ahead of the second preference category (EB-2). Although we typically think of the EB-2 category as being a quicker route to a green card for foreign national employees because it represents a higher level of applicants (those with a Master’s degree or higher level education and Aliens of Exceptional Ability) in relation to the EB-3 category, the visa bulletin is turning that notion on its head for Chinese nationals. This unprecedented shift began in June of this year when we first saw the EB-3 priority date jump ahead of the EB-2 priority date. Over the last several months, the EB-3 category for Chinese nationals has continued to move forward much quicker than anticipated while the EB-2 category has made relatively slow progress.

As the EB-3 China category continues to advance much quicker than the EB-2 category, the gap between the two has continued to widen with the new January EB-3 category current for priority dates prior to April 1, 2012 and earlier, while EB-2 is current for priority dates prior to December 8, 2008. As a result, Chinese nationals who have an approved EB-2 immigrant petition may possibly benefit from moving to the EB-3 category.

Charles Openheimer, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division of the Department of State has predicted that this trend is likely to continue. As such employers should be considering whether to file an EB-3 immigrant petition on behalf of their Chinese National employees who are currently in the EB-2 category.

**This newsletter is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide legal advice.**

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