Because of high adjustment of status demand, the Department of State said it has been necessary to retrogress the employment third preference cut-off dates. In April 2008, the cut-off date retrogressed to March 1, 2003, to help ensure that future demand would be reduced significantly. Further retrogression occurred in May 2009, with third preference categories for all nationalities becoming unavailable.

During the past year, many preference categories have experienced steady and sometimes rapid cut-off date movement. Such action is normally followed by an increase in applicant demand. Heavy applicant demand for numbers in some categories requires cut-off date movements to slow, stop, or even retrogress to hold visa use within the applicable annual numerical limits. It is expected that the recent retrogression will be only temporary in nature, pending the start of the new fiscal year in October.

The Visa Bulletin for May 2009 is available here.