• As Expected, EB-2 India/China Will Retrogress to August 15, 2007 Next Month; Modest Advancements in EB-3 for All Countries
  • April 10, 2012
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • As expected, EB-2 priority dates for India and China will retrogress to August 15, 2007 next month, according to the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) May 2012 Visa Bulletin. In the EB-3 subcategory for professionals and skilled workers, priority date cut-offs will advance one week for India, to September 8, 2002; one month for China, to April 1, 2005; and 23 days, to May 1, 2006, for all other countries.

    EB-2 India/China Retrogression

    The State Department reports that it has retrogressed the cut-off date for EB-2 India and China to August 15, 2007 in response to rapid forward movement of the cut-off date, which dramatically increased demand for EB-2 preference numbers in recent months, and at a rate much faster than expected.

    Earlier this week, the State Department announced that no further EB-2 visa numbers would be authorized for India and mainland China-born applicants with priority dates of August 15, 2007 or later, effective March 23, 2012.

    USCIS has reaffirmed that EB-2 India and China applicants with priority dates earlier than May 1, 2010 can continue to file adjustment of status applications with USCIS through April 30, 2012. These applications are to be held until at least the beginning of Fiscal Year 2013, which begins on October 1, 2012.

    Projections for the Next Few Months

    The State Department’s May Visa Bulletin contains projections for priority date movement in the coming months, which are estimated based on current visa demand patterns.

    DOS projects that EB-2 priority dates for India and China may become unavailable within the coming months. The State Department suggested that it is at least possible that cut-off dates for EB-2 worldwide could be established, though DOS gave no clear indication of how likely that is to happen.

    Worldwide EB-3 Professional and Skilled Worker priority dates are projected to make minor advancements. DOS forecasts that EB-3 priority dates for India may advance by up to two weeks, and EB-3 China may advance by up to six weeks.

    EB-1 priority dates are expected to remain current.

    May 2012 Priority Date Cut-Offs

    In May 2012, EB immigrant priority date cut-offs will be:

    EB-1

    Current for all countries.

    EB-2

    India: August 15, 2007
    China: August 15, 2007
    Current for all other countries.

    EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers

    India: September 8, 2002
    China: April 1, 2005
    All other countries: May 1, 2006

    EB-3 Other Workers

    India: September 8, 2002
    China: April 22, 2003
    All other countries: May 1, 2006

    EB-5

    Current for all countries and subcategories.