The May 2012 Visa Bulletin will reveal severe retrogression in
the priority date cut-offs for the India and China EB-2
(Employment-Based, second preference) category according to Charles
Oppenheim, Chief of the Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting
division at the U.S. Department of State (DOS). According to the
DOS' April 2012 Visa Bulletin, visa numbers are
available in the EB-2 category for Indian and Chinese nationals
with a priority date prior to May 1, 2010. As a result of this
retrogression, visa numbers will move back, by more than two years,
to August 15, 2007. Up until the last two Visa Bulletins, cut-off
dates for the India and China EB-2 category had advanced
significantly. As demand for the category increased, forward
movement slowed and then halted, with dates for the April bulletin
remaining the same as the March bulletin.
Factors causing the retrogression include not only an increase
in demand for immigrant visa numbers in the EB-2 category, but also
higher demand than in 2011 for visa numbers in the EB-1
(Employment-Based first preference) category, meaning that there
are fewer, if any, unused EB-1 visa numbers that, in accordance
with the regulations, are available to be added to the EB-2
Immigrant visa availability cannot be predicted since it is
based on demand. Once the immigrant visa numbers are exhausted for
the fiscal year, new immigrant visa numbers are not available until
the beginning of the next fiscal year, which is October 1, 2012.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has informed
Oppenheim that it will continue to "pre-adjudicate"
adjustment applications received through April. The
"pre-adjudicated" cases will be held by the DOS in the
"pending" demand file so that the cases will be ready in
October, or earlier, if the current number use pattern changes and
they are needed at the end of this fiscal year to ensure
utilization of the full employment-based permanent resident visa
Ogletree Deakins will work with eligible EB-2 Chinese and Indian
nationals with current priority dates to ensure that their
immigrant visa and adjustment of status applications are filed and
received by USCIS by April 30, 2012. Once the immigrant visa
numbers retrogress, those with priority dates later than the
cut-off date specified in the Visa Bulletin will be unable to file
until a visa number becomes available once again.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
Specific Questions relating to this article should be addressed directly to the author.
On March 8, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, bearing an edition date of March 8, 2013, for immediate use by employers.
A bipartisan group of eight U.S. senators has introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, an 844-page bill that aims to bolster border security and seeks to provide some of the nation's 11 million undocumented people with a path to citizenship.