• The recently published May 2012 Visa Bulletin confirms retrogression of visa number availability for China-mainland born and Indian applicants in the employment-based (EB-2) immigrant visa preference category, due to increased demand over the last few months. The priority cut-off date will retrogress from May 1, 2010 to August 15, 2007. Individuals from all countries in the employment-based (EB-3) visa category will see their priority dates continue to move forward slowly. With green card waiting times fluctuating from several months to several years and beyond, both family and employer sponsors interested in sponsoring foreign nationals should initiate those proceedings sooner rather than later.
  • As of April 13, 2012, visa processing fees paid by applicants at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad were adjusted to reflect an increase for most nonimmigrant visa applications and a decrease for all immigrant visa applications. The fee for a petition-based visa (H, L, O, P, Q, and R) has increased from $150 to $190, for an E treaty visa has decreased from $390 to $270, and for an immediate relative and family preference immigrant visa application has decreased from $330 to $230. Applicants are urged to check visa application fees and submission guidelines prior to application to avoid unnecessary delays with proceedings.