Visa Numbers Move in April 2005

The April 2005 Visa Bulletin, issued by the U.S. Department of State (DOS), brought some limited good news to those in the Employment-Based Third Preference (EB3) skilled / professional worker category. The news was not good for those in the EB3 “Other Worker” category. Those readers unfamiliar with the topic of retrogression, will find helpful information in our September 24, 2004 MurthyBulletin article, Priority Dates May Retrogress, as well as our December 10, 2004 NewsFlash, Employment Visa Numbers Retrogress, both available on MurthyDotCom.

EB3 Skilled / Professional Workers

The priority date for EB3 skilled / professional workers from mainland China, India, and the Philippines moved ahead to April 1, 2002. This means that those charged to those countries in the EB3 skilled / professional worker category, who are the beneficiaries of labor certifications or labor certification-exempt I-140 petitions filed before April 1, 2002, are eligible to file the I-485 application to adjust status or pursue consular processing during the month of April 2005. Additionally, persons in this category with priority dates that are now current, who have already filed the I-485 but found their cases “on hold” due to retrogression, now once again are eligible for case approval. All countries other than India, mainland China, and the Philippines remain “current” for the EB3 skilled / professional worker category. This means that there are sufficient visa numbers available for all priority dates for those nationals at this time.

EB3 “Other Workers”

As mentioned, the news for the EB3 “Other Worker” category is not good. The “Other Worker” category has retrogressed to July 1, 2001 for all countries. Other Worker positions are those requiring less than 2 years of training / experience, so this refers to the unskilled / semiskilled worker category.

EB2 Professionals with Advance Degrees / Exceptional Ability

For the time being, the priority dates in the Employment-Based Second Preference (EB2) category remain current. However, there does remain a very realistic possibility that these numbers could also retrogress due to demand outstripping availability over the next few months.

Diversity Visa 2006

The DOS indicated that 2006 Diversity Visa Lottery winners will not be contacted until at least May 2005. The Visa Bulletin will provide an official announcement when all of the winners have been notified. Anyone receiving a notification before May 2005 may be victim of a scam and should report this to the DOS.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.