EB-2 category for China and India is no longer
unavailable; cutoff dates remain for Rest of the World EB-2
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released its October 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 a U.S.
embassy or consulate abroad, provided that their priority dates are
prior to the cutoff dates specified by the DOS.
What Does the October 2012 Visa Bulletin
EB-1: All EB-1 categories remain current.
EB-2: A cutoff date of January 1, 2012, has been imposed for
foreign nationals in the EB-2 category from all countries except
China and India; a cutoff date of July 15, 2007, has been imposed
for foreign nationals in the EB-2 category from China; a cutoff
date of September 1, 2004, has been imposed for foreign nationals
in the EB-2 category from India.
EB-3: There is continued backlog in the EB-3 category.
The relevant priority date cutoffs for foreign nationals in the
EB-3 category are as follows:
China: February 8, 2006(forward movement of 139
days) India: October 15, 2002 (forward movement of 23
days) Mexico: October 22, 2006 (forward movement of 92
days) Philippines: August 1, 2006 (forward movement of
54 days) Rest of the World: October 22, 2006 (forward
movement of 92 days)
Developments Affecting the EB-2 Employment-Based
MEXICO, THE PHILIPPINES, AND THE REST OF THE
In July, for the first time in many years, the DOS imposed a
cutoff date for individuals who qualify for the EB-2 category and
are chargeable to a country other than China or India (Mexico, the
Philippines, and the Rest of the World). Since July, the cutoff
date for individuals from these countries had been January 1, 2009.
The October Visa Bulletin announced that, as of October 1, 2012,
the cutoff date will move forward to January 1, 2012. This means
that, beginning on October 1, 2012, an individual chargeable to
Mexico, the Philippines, or the Rest of the World with a priority
date before January 1, 2012, may file an AOS application or an
immigrant visa application. It is expected that the DOS will remove
cutoff dates for these countries completely in November and that
the EB-2 category will be "current" for individuals
chargeable to these countries.
INDIA AND CHINA
The October Bulletin indicates a cutoff date of September 1,
2004, for EB-2 individuals chargeable to India and a cutoff date of
July 15, 2007, for EB-2 individuals chargeable to China. The EB-2
category was previously unavailable to individuals chargeable to
India or China. This means that EB-2 individuals chargeable to
India or China with a priority date preceding these respective
dates may file an AOS application or have the application approved
on or after October 1 of this year. It appears that the U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services has a large number of AOS
applications for EB-2 Indian and Chinese nationals that have been
"preadjudicated" and will be approved on October 1.
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 October 2012 Visa Bulletin in its entirety, please visit
the DOS website
Copyright 2012. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. All Rights
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