The U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently announced that the numerical limitations for issuing immigrant visas (a.k.a. “Green Cards”) in the EB-2 Indian and Chinese national preference categories have been met for Fiscal Year 2012. The DOS notified the USCIS on April 11, 2012 that no further immigrant visas for the EB-2 Indian and Chinese national preference categories would be authorized in Fiscal Year 2012. Although the DOS retrogressed the EB-2 Indian and Chinese national preference categories from May 2010 to August 2007 in the May 2012 Visa Bulletin, the DOS indicated that the DOS still had to suspend the issuance of immigrant visas in these categories to ensure that the statutory numerical limitation in the categories was not exceeded.  

The USCIS will continue to accept adjustment of status applications for EB-2 Indian and Chinese nationals who have priority dates prior to August 15, 2007 during May 2012. However, these cases will not be approved at least until priority dates become available again. The earliest date upon which priority dates may becomes available is the beginning of the government’s Fiscal Year 2013 on October 1, 2012. Between now and October, the DOS will try to assess the number of individuals with pending adjustment of status and consular processing applications in the EB-2 Indian and Chinese national preference categories to establish a new priority date beginning on October 2012. This priority date may be even earlier than August 15, 2007 as indicated in the May 2012 Visa Bulletin if the DOS determines between now and October that there are more applications pending with earlier priority dates than is available under the statutory limitations.  

Additional information about the movement of priority dates (especially the EB-2 Indian and Chinese national preference categories) will be contained in our firm’s future Immigration Updates when it becomes available.