• The recently published October 2012 Visa Bulletin indicates small progress with regard to immigrant visa number availability for nationals of the majority of countries falling under the Second Employment-Based immigrant category ("EB-2") reserved for individuals with advanced degrees. Importantly, the new Visa Bulletin shows immigrant visa number availability for most individuals with permanent immigration priority dates of January 1, 2012 or earlier in the EB-2 category, and for nationals of India and China the visa category dates go from "unavailable" to September 1, 2004 and July 15, 2007, respectively. 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.
  • The U.S. and Russia have entered into a visa agreement aimed at facilitating business and tourist travel between the two countries. Among the benefits, the agreement allows for longer visa validity, shorter standard visa processing times, reduced visa application fees, and streamlined visa application process including reduced documentation requirements.