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Update on Visa Bulletin Priority Dates and Demand

American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and Department of State (DOS) recently held a meeting that included a discussion regarding visa demand in the employment and family preference categories and predictions for FY2012 and FY2013. The following are the notes, in pertinent part, from that meeting:

• Employment Based (EB)-1 visa usage is extremely high with August 2012 at a near record high. The EB-1 visa category could close in September if usage remains this high (close the 40,000). It would then go current in October.
• EB-2 India priority date will probably go to 2006 when the Visa Bulletin is published next month (not 2007 as previously predicted). This is due in part to the retrogression in 2012, as well as the high level of EB-1 usage. India is expected to stay in 2006 for some time.
• EB-2 China priority date will be further ahead than India.
• EB-2 worldwide may go current in October, or it may go to early 2012 and then current in the November Visa Bulletin. A “correction” in EB-2 worldwide towards the latter part of FY2013 could happen (in other words, potentially visa retrogression for EB-2 worldwide and no longer current).
• EB-3 worldwide should remain as posted for the rest of September. Steady progress is expected in FY2013, unless heavy EB-1 and EB-2 usage in FY2013, which would slow the speed of EB-3 worldwide.
• Family Based (FB) 2A cases: Usage is dropping. FB-2A usage is slower than it should be so the priority dates are expected to move forward at the same pace as FY2012. However, if demand continues to be low, this group may move forward more significantly in the spring of 2013.

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