The DOS recently provided predictions about the future availability of employment-based “Green Cards.” The following are some of the DOS’ predictions about future availability:

  1. The EB-1 category for Indian and Chinese nationals may retrogress in August or September 2009 due to heavy demand.  
  2. The EB-2 category for Indian and Chinese nationals may be become Unavailable in August or September 2009 through the end of the government’s fiscal year on September 30, 2009. The DOS indicated that there are a significant number of cases pending in these categories and each country has a limit of 2,800 available “green cards” in the EB-2 category each year plus any unused numbers from other categories. The DOS indicated that the waiting time for Indian and Chinese nationals in the EB-2 category may be measured in years (or even decades) due to current demand.  
  3. The EB-3 World category will remain Unavailable for the remainder of this fiscal year through September 30, 2009. The DOS estimated that when the government’s next fiscal year begins on October 1, 2009, the cut-off date for the EB-3 World category will be March 1, 2003.  
  4. The DOS indicated that the EB-3 categories for Indian, Chinese and Mexican nationals will also remain Unavailable for the remainder of this fiscal year. The DOS estimated that the beginning in the next fiscal year, the priority date from the EB-3 Chinese and Mexican national categories will be March 1, 2003 and the priority date for the Indian national EB-3 category will be November 1, 2001.  
  5. The DOS stated that there are approximately 25,000 EB-2 cases and 25,000 EB-3 cases awaiting “green card” numbers at the DOS.