• EB-2 India/China Priority Date to Retrogress To August 15, 2007 in May
  • March 29, 2012
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The EB-2 priority date cut-off for mainland China and India will retrogress to August 15, 2007 in May of this year, according to Charles Oppenheim, the senior State Department official responsible for visa control. The new cut-off date is to be officially announced in early April, when the May 2012 Visa Bulletin is issued. It will take effect on May 1, 2012.

    As Fragomen has reported, Mr. Oppenheim recently alerted the immigration community to the likelihood of EB-2 retrogression for India and mainland China, but until now had not provided an exact cut-off date.

    The main reason for the retrogression is that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has been processing greater numbers of pending adjustment applications and has requested more EB-2 immigrant visa numbers as a result. Higher demand for EB-1 extraordinary ability visa numbers is also a factor. Under immigrant visa rules, unused EB-1 numbers “spill down” and are added to the EB-2 quota. But with more EB-1 adjustments being filed, a surplus is unlikely.

    The State Department projections do not affect the availability of EB-3 numbers or EB-2 numbers for countries other than mainland China and India.

    What Foreign Nationals Should Do Now

    Eligible EB-2s who were born in India or mainland China and have a current priority date need to have an adjustment of status or immigrant visa application on file with and received by the government no later than April 30, 2012 - before the May 2012 Visa Bulletin becomes effective. When retrogression takes effect on May 1, a foreign national whose priority date is August 15, 2007 or later will be unable to file until an immigrant visa number once again becomes available.

    Those with a newly-acquired foreign spouse, a foreign spouse living abroad and/or children under the age of 21 also need to take steps to ensure that their family members remain eligible for permanent residence as derivative beneficiaries.

    Affected EB-2s should contact their designated Fragomen professional as soon as possible to discuss the impact of retrogression on their cases.