September 2011 Visa Bulletin

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued the September 2011 Visa Bulletin. This is the final Visa Bulletin for the federal government’s fiscal year (FY) 2011. The employment-based, second preference (EB2) category for India and China will remain unchanged in the month of September 2011, after several months of substantial forward movement. The cutoff dates in the EB categories for September 2011 are summarized here for the benefit of MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers.

Summary of Visa Bulletin

Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1)

This category remains current for all countries of chargeability.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)

This category remains current for all countries of chargeability, with the exception of India and China. As is expected at the end of the fiscal year, India and China continue to share the same cutoff date. This date remained unchanged from the prior month’s Visa Bulletin. The cutoff date for EB2 India and China for September 2011 remains as April 15, 2007.

The forward movement in EB2 for India and China has benefited many clients of the Murthy Law Firm, for whom we obtained a significant number of I-485 adjustment-of-status approvals during June and July 2011. The approvals for cases in this category are continuing to arrive, as of mid August.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)

The universally-backlogged EB3 category experienced slight forward movement. The cutoff date for the category of all chargeability areas except those listed, as well as Mexico and the Philippines, moved by three weeks to November 22, 2005. India moved by more than a month, with a new cutoff date of July 8, 2002. China saw just a few days of advancement, yet again, to a cutoff date of July 15, 2004.

Other Workers’ Category

The EB3 other workers’ category progressed by three months, to August 1, 2005, for the category of all chargeability areas except those listed, the Philippines, and Mexico. China’s cutoff date continued to be unchanged at April 22, 2003. India’s cutoff date of June 1, 2002 in this category was also unchanged.

Employment-Based, Fourth (EB4) and Fifth (EB5) Preferences

These categories remain current for all countries of chargeability.

Conclusions and Considerations for FY12

There were no predictions in the Visa Bulletin for the start of FY12 on October 1, 2011. The EB2 India and China advancement at the end of FY11, and the resulting I-485 case approvals, should make a noticeable impact in the pending I-485 inventory for EB2 India and China. This, hopefully, will avoid any need to retrogress the cutoff dates in these categories, and, potentially, allow for at least some forward movement.

The interesting prospect for the upcoming fiscal year is the complete absence of any pending India and China EB2 I-485s with priority dates after mid August 2007. Since cutoff dates are based on predictions of supply and demand, if enough of the older, long-pending I-485 cases are approved, the cutoff date may have to be advanced to fill the “pipeline” with more cases. Thus, at some point, there is likely to be a noticeable, temporary advancement in the EB2 category for India and China in order to allow for additional case filings. We at the Murthy Law Firm will continue to follow any Visa Bulletin developments and will update MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers on trends and reliable predictions of cutoff date movement.

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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.