November 2012 Visa Bulletin: EB2 Retrogression Continues for India & China

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) November 2012 Visa Bulletin carries good news for the employment-based, second preference (EB2) category for all countries except India and China. This summary and analysis of the November 2012 Visa Bulletin is prepared by the Murthy Law Firm for our readers.

Summary of Visa Bulletin

Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1)

This category is current for every country of chargeability.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)

This category is continues to be severely retrogressed for India and China. All other countries of chargeability return to being current as of November 2012, after a four-month period of retrogression. The drastically retrogressed cutoff date for India established in the October 2012 Visa Bulletin remains unchanged, at September 1, 2004. The cutoff date for China advances by more than a month, to September 1, 2007.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)

The cutoff date in this category for all chargeability areas except those listed, as well as Mexico, advances by a month, to November 22, 2006. The Philippines’ cutoff date inches forward by a week, to August 8, 2006. China’s cutoff date advances by over two months, to April 15, 2006. India continues to be the most retrogressed, with just one week of forward movement, to October 22, 2002.

Other Workers’ Category

With the exception of China, the EB3 other workers’ cutoff-date category matches those for the respective countries in the general EB3 category. The cutoff date for China moves forward to July 1, 2003.

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

These categories return to current in the November 2012 Visa Bulletin. The categories of EB4 Certain Religious Workers and EB5 Pilot Programs for investors were extended at the end of September 2012. These categories, therefore, are available and current once again, as reflected in the November Visa Bulletin.


The November 2012 Visa Bulletin does not set out any predictions of future cutoff date movement. As previously explained to our readers, the extreme EB2 India and China retrogression is tied to events in fiscal year 2012 (FY12) and uncertainty regarding availability of any excess visa numbers from EB1. We will continue to closely monitor any developments in the visa bulletin and related information and update our readers as information becomes available.

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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.