• United States: Priority Date Advancements Possible for EB-2 Category
  • April 4, 2011
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Indian and Chinese nationals in the employment-based second-preference (EB-2) category could see priority date cut-offs advance in the coming months, as the Department of State applies roughly 12,000 unused immigrant visas from the first employment-based preference category to the EB-2 classification. Specific cut-off date advancements will not be known until the agency issues an official visa bulletin, but State Department officials have suggested that the EB-2 subcategory for India, which has remained unchanged for months, could advance as early as May, with additional advancements possible for both India and China in June or July.

    Though the EB-2 category is current for most countries, it has long been backlogged for nationals of India and China, in part due to the large number of permanent residence cases filed in July 2007, when the State Department suddenly declared nearly all employment-based immigrant visa categories to be current and open for applications.

    What Priority Date Advancement Means for Foreign Nationals and Employers

    If the EB-2 India and China categories advance in the coming months, many adjustment applicants with long-pending cases could see their applications adjudicated to completion, and some foreign nationals who were unable to file permanent residence applications when their priority dates were current in the past might have a renewed opportunity to file.

    When their priority dates become current, adjustment applicants with pending cases may need to provide supplemental documentation so that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services can finalize their cases. Applicants could be asked to provide updated job letters from their employer-sponsors, and may need to attend another biometrics appointment so that new fingerprints can be taken. Applicants should also be prepared for the possibility of an adjustment interview at a local USCIS office. Though interviews are not routine in employment-based cases, agency adjudicators have the authority to refer specific cases for local office interviews.

    Fragomen will issue further updates as the Department of State releases more information on priority date movements. The content herein is provided for informational purposes only. To read more Fragomen Client Alerts please visit: http://www.fragomen.com.