The November employment-based second preference cut-off date for applicants from China and India is the most favorable since August 2007. This advancement is expected to generate significant levels of demand based on new filings for adjustment of status at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices. While significant future cut-off date movements are anticipated, they may not be made on a monthly basis. Readers should not expect such movements to be the norm throughout the fiscal year, and an eventual retrogression of the cut-off at some point during the year is a distinct possibility.
In recent remarks, Charles Oppenheim of the Department of State’s Visa Office discussed predictions for employment-based visa numbers. Among other things, Mr. Oppenheim anticipates that in December 2011, the EB-2 priority date for China and India will move to March 1, 2008, and there could be additional movement in January and February. After that movement, these two categories may slow down and possibly retrogress later in the year. Mr. Oppenheim predicted that the EB-3 category for Mexico, Philippines, and most other countries should move forward one month every month. The EB-3 category for China is expected to advance one to three weeks per month in the near future.
Prospects for India’s EB-3 category do not look so promising. There are 54,000 cases pending since 2007, and many more with subsequent priority dates that have not yet been filed. Only 2,800 are allowed per year. Potentially this could mean 225,000 to 300,000 people waiting in line for India EB-3 visa numbers, including dependents. Mr. Oppenheim noted that over 50 percent of H-1Bs are given to Indian nationals every year; he said the majority will apply for permanent residence.
The EB-1 and 2 categories for all countries, Mexico, and Philippines, are expected to remain Current for some time, Mr. Oppenheim said. Last year there were 18,000-20,000 fewer cases filed in the EB-1 category, which allowed more EB-1 China and India petitions to move forward along with some EB-2 adjustments from those countries.
The November Visa Bulletin is available at http://travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_5572.html.