Retrogression expected for China/India; no EB-2
China/India advancement in April.
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released its April 2012
Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per country priority date
cutoffs that regulate the flow of adjustment of status (AOS) and
consular immigrant visa applications. Foreign nationals may file
applications to adjust their status to that of permanent resident,
or to obtain approval of an immigrant visa application at an
American embassy or consulate abroad, provided that their priority
dates are prior to the cutoff dates specified by the DOS.
What Does the April 2012 Visa Bulletin
EB-1: All EB-1 categories remain current.
EB-2: Priority dates remain current for foreign nationals in
the EB-2 category from all countries except China and
The relevant priority date cutoffs for Indian and Chinese
nationals are as follows:
China: May 1, 2010 (no forward movement)
India: May 1, 2010 (no forward movement)
EB-3: There is continued backlog in the EB-3
The relevant priority date cutoffs for foreign nationals in the
EB-3 category are as follows:
China: March 1, 2005 (forward movement of two months)
India: September 1, 2002 (forward movement of one week)
Mexico: April 8, 2006 (forward movement of three weeks)
Philippines: April 8, 2006 (forward movement of three weeks)
Rest of the World: April 8, 2006 (forward movement of three
How This Affects You
Priority date cutoffs are assessed on a monthly basis by the
DOS, based on anticipated demand. Cutoff dates can move forward or
backward, or remain static and unchanged. Employers and employees
should take the immigrant visa backlogs into account in their
long-term planning, and take measures to mitigate their effects. To
see the April 2012 Visa Bulletin in its entirety, please visit the DOS website.
PLEASE NOTE: Charles Oppenheimer of the DOS has indicated it is
likely that the May or June Visa Bulletin will reflect cutoff date
retrogression in the EB-2 category for Indian and Chinese
nationals. The extent of this retrogression will not be clear until
the relevant Visa Bulletin is published in mid-April or mid-May,
but it is likely that an August 2007 cutoff date will be imposed.
The result will be that a significant number of persons whose
priority dates are now current will find that they are no longer
able to file AOS applications as of May 1 or June 1. It is
therefore very important to ensure that AOS applications for Indian
and Chinese nationals in the EB-2 category whose priority dates are
current be filed before May 1 or, if the retrogression takes effect
in June, before June 1.
Copyright 2012. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. All Rights
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In our continuing series of reports, Charles ("Charlie") Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, shares his most recent analysis of current trends and future projections for the various immigrant preference categories with AILA (the American Immigration Lawyers' Association).