The July 2007 Visa Bulletin is current for EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 classifications, for all countries. Other workers remains unavailable. Department of State (DOS) expects demand may be such in coming months that it will need to retrogress numbers, especially for India and China, and that severe retrogressions will take effect at the beginning of the next fiscal year.
In June 2007, the Visa Bulletin issued by the DOS had shown significant movement forward in some of the employment-based (EB) categories for immigrant visa (green card) availability.
All countries: Current
- India: April 1, 2004 (forward movement of over one year)
- China: January 1, 2006 (forward movement of nine months)
- All other countries: Current
- India: June 1, 2003 (forward movement of two years)
- Mexico: June 1, 2003 (forward movement of two years)
- China June 1, 2003 (forward movement of 10 months)
- Philippines June 1, 2005 (forward movement of almost two years)
- All other countries: June 1, 2005 (forward movement of almost two years)
For a link to the current Visa Bulletin and listing of all categories, including family-based immigrant visa categories, please visit the Department of State website at: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_1360.html.
The new cut-off dates became effective on June 1, 2007. Now, foreign nationals may either file their application for adjustment of status to permanent residence or may apply for an approval of their immigrant visa at a U.S. consular post abroad, if their immigrant visa priority date is before the cut-off date in their category outlined above.
Despite significant movement forward, lengthy EB-quota immigrant visa backlogs continue to prevent many foreign workers who qualify under EB-3 classification from securing final green card approval for many years. Indian and Chinese nationals are currently experiencing the greatest delays. Ironically, while the processing time of labor certifications under the new PERM system (the first step in the employment-based permanent residence process for the majority of foreign nationals) has been greatly reduced, most employer-sponsored green card processing has been considerably lengthened due to the retrogression in EB quotas. Fortunately, extensions of foreign workers' H-1B status beyond the six-year limit are permitted in many cases while they are waiting for their quota cut-off date to be reached. Duane Morris is working with clients with current priority dates to gather the documentation and prepare applications for those now eligible to apply for permanent residence.