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December 17, 2006 - January 2007 Visa Bulletin Summary

On December 12, 2006, the DOS released the January 2007 Visa Bulletin.
Unexpectedly, following the November 1, 2006 retrogression of Schedule A
visas, a small number of visas that were intended for use by consular offices
in November were returned unused and became available for reallocation.
The recaptured visas were made available to applicants whose priority dates
are within the January cut-off date of June 15, 2004. No forward movement in
priority dates is expected in the Family-Based Third Preference Category for
foreign nationals from Mexico and the Philippines because of recent heavy
demand.

DOS also reports that the demand for visas in the Employment-based Third
Preference "Other Workers" category, and the China and India Employment-
Based Second Preference categories has been escalating. The Department
does not expect forward movement in priority dates in those categories until
the current demand subsides.


August 28, 2006 - September Visa Bulletin Summary

The September Visa Bulletin shows a little improvement in employment based
categories.  EB-1 for India is now current, as are all other chargeability areas in EB-
1.  EB-2 for India remains unavailable.  For China it remains backlogged to March 1
2005.  All EB-3 chargeability areas remain backlogged to 2001.

Family based categories show some advancement in all chargeability areas.  

The State Department observed that any increase in availability of visa numbers in
FY 2007 will probably be short lived.  It states in the September Visa Bulletin:

"It should be noted that the Department of Labor expects to complete its backlog
reduction effort during FY-2007.  This effort will result in tens of thousands of cases,
including many with very early priority dates, becoming eligible for processing at CIS
Offices.  This could require the retrogression of the Employment Third preference
cut-off dates at any time during FY-2007."


May 16, 2006 - June Visa Bulletin Summary

The June 2006 Visa Bulletin shows one year advancement over the May dates in
the EB-1 Categories for China and India, to July 1, 2005 and January 1 2006,
respectively.  EB-2 figures for the same countries have not advanced nearly as
much (to July 2004 and January 2003) and EB-3 dates are still mired in 2001 (to
July 1, 2001 for China and April 8 2001 for India.)  All other EB-3 chargeability areas
are similarly backlogged.  China and India are the only countries which have
backlogs in EB-1 and EB-2.  All other countries are current.  Schedule A filings for
all countries continue current.

However, "due to high demand for numbers, particularly for adjustment of status
cases at USCIS Service Centers," the Other Worker category has become
"Unavailable" as of June 2006.  The Department of State expects it to remain
unavailable until the end of the fiscal year.

In the family based categories, the 2A Family based category (for spouse and
children of lawful permanent residents) has retrogressed in all chargeability areas
except for Mexico.  Mexico's cut off date in this category is July 22, 1999.  All other
countries are at April 22, 2001.

For a discussion of the Employment and Family based categories, please see
Permanent Residency pages linked at the column at the left.


April 6, 2006 - May Visa Bulletin Employment Based Visa Availability

The first and second employment based categories for India and China continue
their six month per month advance in cut-off dates.  TheThird Employment base
category for India makes only a one month advance to March 2001. Cut Off dates in
the Employment Third preference category continue to apply to all chargeability
areas with the greatest backlog belonging to India.  Schedule A categories continue
to be current.



December 20, 2005 - January Visa Bulletin Employment Based Visa
Availability

Many of the Employment preference cut-off dates have advanced significantly for
the month of January in some cases advancing more than six months.  
Retrogressions in EB-3 as well as EB-1 and EB-2 for China and India.  Cut-off
dates in the Employment Third preference category continue to apply to
all chargeability areas with the greatest backlog belonging to India.


November 14, 2005 - December Visa Bulletin Employment Based Visa
Availability

Many of the Employment preference cut-off dates have advanced for the month of
December.  This is apparently being done based on the amount of demand
currently being received from Citizenship and Immigration Services for adjustment of
status cases, and consideration for CIS’s processing procedures and staffing
patterns.  Applicant demand for numbers may be expected to increase following
rapid advances in the cut-off dates.  DOS suspects that this could cause cut-off
date movement to be sporadic, and eventually slow or stop later in the fiscal year.  
They further state that  at this time, it is not possible to predict the rate of movement
in future months.  


September 15, 2005 - EMPLOYMENT VISA AVAILABILITY DURING FY-
2006

The October Visa Bulletin shows severe retrogressions in EB-3 as well as EB-1 and
EB-2 for China and India.  The backlog reduction efforts of both Citizenship and
Immigration Services and the Department of Labor are continuing to result in very
heavy demand for Employment-based numbers.  As a result cut-off dates in the
Employment Third preference category now apply to all chargeability areas with the
greatest backlog (of five and 1/2 years) belonging to India.   It was thought that
there would be some relief in the EB-3 category with the start of the new fiscal year
in October, but those hopes have been dashed.

Also, for the first time in years we have cut off dates for EB-1 and EB-2 applicants
from China and India.  DOS anticipated that this would occur no later than
December 2005, but they are with us now.  

The DOS observed in September, "The level of demand in the Employment
categories is expected to be far in excess of the annual limits, and once established,
cut-off date movements are likely to be slow."  As I observed then, this is not good
news.  Without Congressional action (which could come later this year) green card
applicants, particularly from India and China, but globally in EB-3,  will have to wait  
years even on top of normal processing delays.  For the effect that the backlogs
have on the filing of adjustment of status or immigrant visa applications, see
Permanent Residency - Employment Based.
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