The U.S. Department of State's Visa Bulletin for July 2012 reports that the employment-based ("EB") second preference immigrant visa worldwide retrogressed.

EB2 worldwide moved back to January 1, 2009.  The State Department explains that this is because of continued heavy demand and the latest Visa Bulletin warns that EB2 worldwide may even become unavailable before the end of the current fiscal year on September 30, 2012.

EB2 India and China become unavailable in June and are expected to remain unavailable until the new fiscal year starts.  This was after rapid forward movement for most of the current fiscal year.  As we reported earlier this year, the State Department previously warned it might be necessary to slow or stop the movement in the future.  Apparently, they were right.

As reported earlier, employer and prospective immigrants should generally file permanent residence applications while a priority date is available and take appropriate action on pending applications to have the best chance of securing approval.  EB2 worldwide continues to be immediately available until July 1.  Time is short, but some time to file remains.

EB3 continues to be available in July.  Worldwide is at July 22, 2006.  EB3 India and China are September 22, 2002, and September 22, 2005, respectively.

As usual, EB1, EB4 and EB5 remain current regardless of country of birth.

Prospective immigrants with priority dates prior to the dates reported on the Visa Bulletin will be eligible to apply for permanent residence next month.  Those with priority dates prior to the dates reported who already have applications pending with the government will be eligible to be granted resident status, assuming that the government otherwise completes its processing.  The Bulletin shows visa availability in the immigrant visas classifications, so long as the prospective immigrant has a priority date prior to the date reported. 

Explanation of Immigrant Visa Categories Family-Based (FB)

  1. Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens:  23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.
  2. Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:  114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, and any unused first preference numbers:

2A: Spouses and Children: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

2B: Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older): 23% of the overall second preference limitation.

  1. Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens:  23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.
  2. Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens:  65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

Employment-Based (EB) Categories

  1. Priority Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.
  2. Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.
  3. Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to "Other Workers."  
  4. Certain Special Immigrants:  7.1% of the worldwide level.
  5. Employment Creation:  7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of P.L. 102-395.

For More Information

More information about the Visa Bulletin and the various immigrant visa categories is available at July 2012 Visa Bulletin