The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released its February 2010 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority date cutoffs that regulate the flow of adjustment of status (AOS) and consular immigrant visa applications. Foreign nationals may file applications to adjust their status to that of permanent resident, or to obtain approval of an immigrant visa application at an American embassy or consulate abroad, provided that their priority dates are prior to the cutoff dates specified by the DOS.

What Does the February 2010 Bulletin Say?

EB-1: All EB-1 categories remain current.

EB-2: Priority dates remain current for foreign nationals in the EB-2 Category from all countries except China and India.

The relevant priority date cutoffs for Indian and Chinese nationals are as follows:

China: May 22, 2005 (forward movement of three weeks) India: January 22, 2005 (no movement)

EB-3: There is continued backlog in the EB-3 Category.

The relevant priority date cutoffs for foreign nationals in the EB-3 category are as follows:

China: September 22, 2002 (forward movement of seven weeks)

India: June 22, 2001 (no movement)

Mexico: July 1, 2002 (no movement)

Philippines: September 22, 2002 (forward movement of seven weeks)

Rest of the World: September 22, 2002 (forward movement of seven weeks)

How This Affects You

Priority date cutoffs are assessed on a monthly basis by the DOS, based on anticipated demand. Cutoff dates can move forward or backward, or remain static. Employers and employees should take account of the immigrant visa backlogs in their long-term planning and take measures to mitigate their effects. To see the February 2010 Visa Bulletin in its entirety, please visit the DOS website at http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_4611.html