The U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently released its October 2009 Visa Bulletin. This is the first Visa Bulletin for the government’s 2010 Fiscal Year (October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010). Normally, the first Visa Bulletin of a fiscal year contains significant advances in the employment-based immigrant visa categories. However, the first Visa Bulletin for this fiscal year does not contain significant advances due in part to the fact that the DOS may now have more accurate information about the number of individuals waiting for employment-based green cards and their priority dates. Due to the lack of significant movement with the first Visa Bulletin of the fiscal year, it is assumed that the priority dates in most of the employment-based immigrant visa categories will only gradually advance for the foreseeable future.

The category that did become available again was the EB-3 category. This category was Unavailable during the second half of fiscal year 2009. However, the established priority dates in the EB-3 categories are significantly retrogressed from the dates that were available one year ago. Additionally, as previously stated, it is assumed that this category will only gradually move in the future due to the fact that the DOS now has more accurate information about the number of individuals pending in this category and their priority dates.

The following is a comparison of the priority dates since retrogression first occurred in October 2005.