As we mentioned in past blog posts, recent visa bulletins provided huge jumps forward for priority dates in the employment-based second preference category for nationals of China-mainland and India. The April 2012 visa bulletin listed visa availability for approved I-140s with a priority date on or before May 1, 2010. Our office was pleasantly surprised by the movement, but weary of the historical trend of retrogression in similar situations. Many individuals with approved I-140s waiting on visa availability took advantage of the large jump in the most recent visa bulletins and filed for adjusment of status.
Just as fast as the visa availability appeared, there are strong signs that the May or June 2012 visa bulletin will contain significant retrogression for the EB-2 category. Specifically, Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of Visa Control and Reporting at the Department of State, informed participants of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Midwest Regional Conference that he will likely retrogress India and China-mainland born Employment-Based Second Preference priority dates to around August 2007, effective with either the May or June 2012 visa bulletin. He also advised that he projects that all EB-1 visas available in Fiscal Year 2012 will be used this year, resulting in no spill down to EB-2. While Mr. Oppenheim's comments at the AILA conference are not binding on the Department of State, it appears clear that retrogression will occur in the forthcoming May or June visa bulletin.
The cycle of gridlock for individuals from China-mainland and India in the employment-based second preference category continues. If you may be affected by the jump in EB-2 visa availability and would like to file your green card application, contact our office immediately.