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Focus on Regulation

Longer Quota-related Delays for Certain Employment-based Green Cards

The October 2012 Visa Bulletin, issued in mid-September by the Department of State (DOS) , is generating buzz, particularly in light of the retrogression to September 1, 2004 for Indian nationals in the employment-based, second preference category (also known as “EB-2”).   The last DOS Visa Bulletin to have included information regarding the availability of immigrant visa numbers in the EB-2 category for Indian nationals was published in May 2012, at which time the cutoff date was August 15, 2007 (all bulletins published from May through October 2012 indicated that no immigrant visas were available for Indian nationals EB-2 category).  The October 2012 cut-off date “slid back” almost 3 years, resulting in a longer wait for Indian nationals in EB-2 category before they can file their I-485 adjustment of status applications or have their pending I-485 applications adjudicated.   The cutoff dates for the other employment-based preference categories are provided below.  It is rare to see retrogression in the worldwide EB-2 category; typically visa numbers are current in this category.

  • EB-1: Visa numbers are current for all chargeability areas, including India, China, Mexico and the Philippines.
  • EB-2: Cut-off dates are July 15, 2007 for China; January 1, 2012 for Mexico; January 1, 2010 for the Philippines; September 1, 2004 for India; and the worldwide cutoff date is set at January 1, 2012.
  • EB-3: The worldwide cutoff date is October 22, 2006; February 8, 2006 for China; October 15, 2002 for India; October 22, 2006 for Mexico; and August 1, 2006 for the Philippines.
  • Visa numbers are current in preference categories 4 and 5.