June 2012 Visa Bulletin: EB1 and EB2 Predictions for Cutoff Dates18 May 2012
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin for June 2012 contains the expected “U” – indicating unavailable – in the EB2 category for India and China. The depletion of the EB2 visa numbers for India and China was confirmed in April 2012. The June 2012 Visa Bulletin carries important and rather remarkable predictions of possible cutoff dates to be established for EB1, as well as EB2, for countries other than India and China. Following is a summary of the June 2012 Visa Bulletin for the benefit of MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers.
Summary of Visa Bulletin
Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1)
This category is current for all countries of chargeability. However, the June 2012 Visa Bulletin indicates that it may be necessary to establish a cutoff date in this category at the end of fiscal year (FY) 2012 due to heavy demand. FY12 ends in September 2012.
Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)
This category remains current for all countries of chargeability except India and China. As expected, there are no more visa numbers for EB2 India and China. The Visa Bulletin therefore indicates with a “U” the complete unavailability of EB2 for India and China. This will remain unchanged through the end of FY12. A new cutoff date will be set in October 2012, as the start of FY13.
The June 2012 Visa Bulletin predicts that it may be necessary to establish a cutoff date for countries other than India and China. This, again, is due to the heavy demand and could occur sometime within the next few months, according to the Visa Bulletin.
Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)
The EB3 category advances by a bit more than one month to June 8, 2006 for the category of all chargeability areas except those listed, as well as for Mexico. The cutoff date for the Philippines advances by three weeks, to May 22, 2006. The cutoff date for China advances by several months, to August 8, 2005. India inches forward by a week, to September 15, 2002.
Other Workers’ Category
The EB3 other workers’ category advances by about a month for the category of all chargeability areas except those listed, as well as for Mexico, with a new cutoff date of June 8, 2006. The cutoff date for the Philippines advances to May 22, 2006. China’s cutoff date continues to be unchanged, at April 22, 2003. India’s cutoff date moves to September 15, 2002.
Employment-Based Fourth (EB4) and Fifth (EB5) Preferences
These categories remain current for all countries of chargeability.
Predictions for EB2 in FY13
In addition to the predictions of cutoff dates to be established in EB1 and EB2 later in FY12, the June 2012 Visa Bulletin offers projections for EB2 India and China for FY13. As the Visa Bulletin explains, EB2 China and India have become unavailable due to the heavy demand for visa numbers. There continues to be demand for visa numbers even for cases with priority dates prior to the previously established August 15, 2007 cutoff date. These EB2 cases with priority dates of before August 15, 2007 are attributable to what is known as “upgrades” from EB3 to EB2.
Visa numbers will be available again at the start of FY13. As previously explained to MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers, however, this does not mean that everyone who filed an I-485 case prior to retrogression will have a current priority date in October 2012. The DOS will set a cutoff date in October 2012 based upon the supply of visa numbers and demand for those numbers. The June Visa Bulletin states that every effort is being made to move the cutoff date forward to reach the May 1, 2010 date that was established in the April 2012 Visa Bulletin. As the Visa Bulletin explains, though, it is not possible to provide an estimate of how long that amount of movement will take. Current indication is that the May 1, 2010 date will not be reached before Spring 2013.
For now, those in EB2 India and China are in a holding pattern at least through October 2012. For many with pending I-485 filings, the waiting time for eligibility for approval appears likely to extend into the 2013 calendar year. While EB2 India and China applicants are familiar with cutoff dates and retrogression, the anticipated establishment of cutoff dates in EB1, and for countries other than India and China in EB2, is likely to come as a surprise to applicants in those categories. Foreign nationals from non-retrogressed countries have no experience or knowledge regarding cutoff dates and the related delays. We at the Murthy Law Firm will keep our readers updated on new developments, as released by the U.S. Department of State.
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