The cutoff date for EB-2, India, is expected to advance in May 2011. This advancement will occur in the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin for May 2011. The Visa Bulletin for May 2011 will be published in early to mid April 2011.

Charlie Oppenheim, Chief, Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, informed the American Immigration lawyers Association of a dramatic reduction in the use of EB-1 numbers. He stated:

“[US]CIS says they have seen a decline in filings, and does not expect a change in the number use pattern. Therefore, this decline in EB-1 number use will allow me to begin having those ‘otherwise unused’ numbers drop down and be available for use in the EB-2 category. Based on current indications, that would mean that at least 12,000 additional numbers will be available to the EB-2 category. This situation will allow me to advance the India EB-2 cut-off date for May. The reason being that all ‘otherwise unused’ numbers are provided strictly in priority date order, and the India demand has the largest concentration of early dates.”

It is impossible to predict just how much advancement there will be, but we will know in mid April. If a priority date becomes current on May 1, 2011, the foreign national may submit his or her I-485 application any time after May 1, 2011 and will be immediately eligible for permanent residence as long as the priority date stays current.

We will keep you updated on any additional developments.