The DOS recently released its December 2007 Visa Bulletin. In its December 2007 Visa Bulletin, the DOS minimally advanced some of the employment-based immigrant visa categories. For example, the DOS advanced the EB-3 World category from August 2002 to September 2002. However, the DOS also retrogressed the employment-based second preference category for Indian and Chinese nationals “due to extraordinarily heavy applicant demand.” This is the third month in fiscal year 2008 (October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008) where the DOS has not significantly advanced any of the employment-based immigrant visa categories.

Although the DOS has not significantly advance any of the categories (and actually retrogressed two of the categories), the DOS provided in the December 2007 Visa Bulletin information about the projected near-term future of the employment-based immigrant visa categories. First, the DOS indicates that it may be necessary to further retrogress the employment-based second preference category for Indian and Chinese nationals. Second, the DOS confirmed that it believes that the employment-based first and second preference categories for the World and Filipino nationals will remain Current. Third, the DOS stated it believes that the employment-based third preference category for the World and Filipino nationals will continue to move forward “slowly while demand patterns are established.” Fourth, the DOS indicated that it may be necessary to establish priority cut-off dates in the employment-based first category for Chinese and Indian nationals. Lastly, the DOS did not provide any prediction about future movement in the employment-based third preference category for Chinese and Indian nationals.

The following is a comparison the employment-based immigrant visa category cut-off dates since they were established in October 2005.