The new “two-pronged” priority date system announced recently by the U.S. State Department appears, thus far, to promise more of the same for foreign nationals in historically over-subscribed visa categories. The November Visa Bulletin shows little change from the revised October Visa Bulletin. There will be no advancement in cutoff dates in the filing eligibility category, and only slight advancement in cutoff dates in the final action category. The “two-pronged” format lists two cut-off dates for each backlogged employment-based preference category and country: (1) an “application final action” date, as has always been reported in the Bulletin; and (2) a “date for eligibility to file visa applications.”

In November, the final action cutoff date for EB-2 China will advance by one month, to February 1, 2012, and by fifteen months, to August 1, 2006, for EB-2 India.   The final action cutoff date for the EB-3 and other worker categories for China will advance by about three months, to January 1, 2012 and April 1, 2006. The EB-3 and other workers categories for India will advance by three months, to April 1, 2004. All other backlogged EB-3 and other worker categories remain unchanged at August 15, 2015.