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Update on EB-1 and EB-2 Visa Availability

The Department of State (DOS) has reported that despite the retrogression in the May Visa Bulletin of the China-mainland born and India EB-2 priority dates to August 15, 2007, there continues to be an overwhelming demand for numbers by individuals with priority dates earlier than that date. The demand is primarily due to “upgrades” of adjustment of status cases that were originally filed with the USCIS in the EB-3 category that are now eligible to be upgraded to the EB-2 classification. As a result, DOS decided to make the China-mainland born and India EB-2 category “unavailable” in early April, and numbers in this category will continue to be unavailable until the beginning of FY2013, i.e. October 1, 2012. DOS has announced that it will do its best to return the China-mainland born and India EB-2 category cut-off date to the previous May 1, 2010 date. While it is difficult to predict how long that may take, current estimates show that it is not likely to happen before spring 2013. Meanwhile, USCIS will continue accepting China-mainland born and India EB-2 adjustment of status filings during May based on the originally announced May cut-off date.

The above-mentioned information will be included in the upcomig June 2012 Visa Bulletin. DOS also indicted the following changes to “Item F” of the May Visa Bulletin which provided projections regarding visa availability in the coming months. Information it received from the USCIS after its publication requires an update in the projections for the EB-1 and EB-2 preference categories as follows:

Employment First: Based on the current rate of demand, it may be necessary to establish a cut-off date at the end of the fiscal year in an effort to limit number use within the annual numerical limit.

Employment Second: Based on the current rate of demand, it may be necessary to establish a cut-off date for this category for all countries other than China and India. Such action may be required at any time during the next few months.

Please be advised that the above are only estimates for what could happen during the next few months based on applicant demand patterns experienced in recent months.