The State Department’s Visa Bulletin for August 2009 shows an October 1, 2003, cut-off date for both the China-mainland born and India EB-2 categories, which is close to a four-year jump from last month’s cut-off date. The third preference and “other workers” employment-based categories are unavailable; all other categories are current. EB-3 visa numbers worldwide and for India, China, and Mexico are expected to remain unavailable for the remainder of this fiscal year at least. The EB-3 category for India could remain unavailable indefinitely.
This follows on the heels of news last month that the India and China EB-2 categories could become unavailable in August or September and remain unavailable indefinitely. The Department had explained that there is a backlog of at least 25,000 India EB-2 cases awaiting visa numbers.
Charles Oppenheim of the Department of State’s Visa Office reportedly stated that without legislative relief, the waiting time for Indian EB-2 applicants may be measured in years, even decades.
The Department also noted in the August Visa Bulletin that heavy applicant demand for numbers in the employmentbased fourth preference is likely to require the establishment of a cut-off date, or the preference becoming unavailable, for September. The category can be expected to return to a current status for October, the first month of the new fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the Department of State has determined the family and employment preference numerical limits for FY 2009. The worldwide employment-based preference limit is 140,000.
The per-country limit is fixed at 7 percent of the family and employment annual limits. For FY 2009, the per-country limit is 25,620. The dependent area annual limit is 2 percent, or 7,320.
The August Visa Bulletin is available here.