The U.S. Department of State's Visa Bulletin for September 2012 shows that the employment-based third preference ("EB3") immigrant visa classification priority dates continue to advance, albeit modestly. Worldwide moved forward to October 1, 2006. EB3 India and China will be October 8, 2002, and December 15, 2005, respectively.

The full text of the new Visa Bulletin can be found at http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_5759.html.

EB2 worldwide holds steady at January 1, 2009. EB2 India and China remain unavailable. As reported in previous Alerts, this was expected, with no change likely until the new fiscal year starts on October 1, 2012.The US State Department warned that EB2 worldwide might even become unavailable before the end of the current fiscal year on September 30, 2012.  That did not happen.

As usual, EB1, EB4 and EB5 remain current, regardless of country of birth.

Prospective immigrants with priority dates prior to the dates reported on the Visa Bulletin will be eligible to apply for permanent residence next month.  Those with priority dates prior to the dates reported who already have applications pending with the government will be eligible to be granted resident status, assuming that the government otherwise completes its processing.  The Bulletin shows visa availability in the immigrant visas classifications, so long as the prospective immigrant has a priority date prior to the date reported. 

Explanation of Immigrant Visa Categories

Family-Based (FB)

  1. Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens:  23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.
  2. Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:  114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, and any unused first preference numbers:
    1. Spouses and Children:  77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;
    2. Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older):  23% of the overall second preference limitation.
  3. Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens:  23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.
  4. Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens:  65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

Employment-Based (EB) Categories

  1. Priority Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.
  2. Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.
  3. Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to "Other Workers".  
  4. Certain Special Immigrants:  7.1% of the worldwide level.
  5. Employment Creation:  7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of P.L. 102-395