DOS Visa Bulletin includes forward movement of four months
in the EB-2 category for China and India and a continued backlog in
the EB-3 category.
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released its March 2012
Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per country priority date
cutoffs that regulate the flow of adjustment of status (AOS) and
consular immigrant visa applications. Foreign nationals may file
applications to adjust their status to that of permanent resident,
or to obtain approval of an immigrant visa application at an
American embassy or consulate abroad, provided that their priority
dates are prior to the cutoff dates specified by the DOS.
What Does the March 2012 Bulletin Say?
EB-1: All EB-1 categories remain
EB-2: Priority dates remain current for foreign
nationals in the EB-2 category from all countries except China and
The relevant priority date cutoffs for Indian and Chinese
nationals are as follows:
China: May 1, 2010 (forward movement of four
India: May 1, 2010 (forward movement of four
EB-3: There is continued backlog in the EB-3
The relevant priority date cutoffs for foreign nationals in the
EB-3 category are as follows:
China: January 1, 2005 (forward movement of one
India: August 22, 2002 (forward movement of one
Mexico: March 15, 2006 (forward movement of
Philippines: March 15, 2006 (forward movement
of three weeks)
Rest of the World: March 15, 2006 (forward
movement of three weeks)
How This Affects You
Priority date cutoffs are assessed on a monthly basis by the
DOS, based on anticipated demand. Cutoff dates can move forward or
backward, or remain static and unchanged. Employers and employees
should take the immigrant visa backlogs into account in their
long-term planning, and take measures to mitigate their effects. To
see the March 2012 Visa Bulletin in its entirety, please visit the
DOS website at http://travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_5664.html.
Copyright 2012. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. All Rights
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and it should not be construed as imparting legal advice on any
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Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, shares his analysis of current trends and future projections for the various immigrant preference categories with AILA.