The U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently released its November 2009 Visa Bulletin. Similar to last month’s Visa Bulletin, the November 2009 Visa Bulletin does not advance most of the employment-based immigrant visa categories. This is surprising because normally the categories significantly advance at the beginning of the government’s fiscal year which commenced on October 1st. The DOS stated that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) previous predictions about future demand from its offices for employment-based immigrant visas have not been accurate. Instead, the DOS stated that demand from USCIS has “far exceeded” the USCIS’ earlier predictions. Therefore, the DOS stated that it was necessary to “hold” most of the employment-based immigrant visa cut-off dates. Additionally, the DOS stated that it is not possible to provide any estimates about when the categories will again move in the future.

The following is a chart of the movement of the employment-based immigrant visa priority dates since the beginning of retrogression in October 2005.