EB-3 Category Unavailable Worldwide in May Visa Bulletin

The U.S. State Department’s May 2009 Visa Bulletin reflects unavailability of visa numbers in the Employment Third Preference across all chargeability areas (meaning, all countries). There is no change in the Employment Second Preference for China and India, and the remaining chargeability areas remain current.

The State Department notes that attempts were made since the start of the fiscal year to curb visa demand and maintain it within the targeted numerical limits by initially holding and then later retrogressing priority dates. However, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services demand for immigrant visas in adjustment of status cases with early priority dates remained "extremely high," resulting in the unavailability of visa numbers for the current fiscal year.

Unlike a retrogression in cut-off dates which impacts only those individuals who are waiting to file an application for adjustment of status, the unavailability of visas means that individuals who are waiting to file their cases cannot, and those whose applications are currently pending must wait until visas are again available. The State Department has indicated that visa availability in the Third Preference Category will resume in October, the first month of the new fiscal year.