• United States: Priority Dates Will Advance for Most Employment-Based Preference Categories in January
  • December 10, 2010
  • Law Firm: Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP - New York Office
  • The Department of State has released the January 2011 Visa Bulletin, its projection of immigrant visa availability for the coming month. In January, priority date cut-offs for many employment-based preference categories will continue to advance by a few weeks for most countries or remain unchanged, though there are significant advancements for Mexico in some categories.

    In the employment-based second preference (EB-2) category, priority dates for China will advance by two weeks to June 22, 2006, but will remain unchanged for India at May 8, 2006. EB-2 remains current for all other countries. In the employment-based third preference (EB-3) subcategory for professionals and skilled workers, priority date cut-offs will advance by one week for China and India, to December 15, 2003 and February 1, 2002 respectively, and by nine and one-half months for Mexico, to April 15, 2003. All other countries will advance by one month, to March 22, 2005. In the EB-3 other worker subcategory, India will advance by one week to February 1, 2002, and Mexico will advance nine and one-half months to April 15, 2003. Cut-off dates will remain unchanged for all other countries at April 22, 2003. Priority dates will remain current in the employment-based first and fifth preference categories.

    Due to increased demand, most family-based preference categories, which saw sizeable priority date advancements in recent months, will retrogress by several months to one year or more for many countries in January. As recently as November, the family-based second preference subcategory for spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents (F-2A) made extremely rapid advancements, with priority date cut-offs of June 1, 2010. However, demand for family-based immigrant visas has increased sharply in recent months, leading to January’s retrogressions. The State Department has suggested that further retrogression is possible if demand continues to be heavy.

    In January 2011, priority date cut-offs for employment-based immigrant categories will be as follows:

    EB-1

    Current for all countries.

    EB-2

    China - June 22, 2006.
    India - May 8, 2006.
    All other countries - current.

    EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers
    China - December 15, 2003.
    India - February 1, 2002.
    Mexico - April 15, 2003.
    All other countries - March 22, 2005.

    EB-3 Other Workers
    India - February 1, 2002.
    Mexico - April 15, 2003.
    All other countries - April 22, 2003.

    EB-5
    Current for all subcategories and countries.

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