The United States Department of State issued its February 2008 monthly visa bulletin on January 9. The February bulletin reflects that visa numbers for EB2 India (employment-based second preference category for Indian nationals) are “unavailable.” According to the Bulletin, the annual limit has been reached in this category for India meaning that there are no more EB2 visa numbers for Indian nationals for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2008 which runs until September 30, 2008.
This visa “unavailability” was anticipated as a result of the surge in demand in this visa category. Many foreign workers who had previously applied as EB3 (employment-based third preference) were caught in the labor certification backlog which lasted, for some, people several years. Many of these employees were able to refile their applications under the more attractive EB3 category due to experience they gained while waiting for labor certification approval. As a result, the number of EB3 petitions rose sharply over the past months and quickly exhausted the number of available EB3 visas.
The October 2008 Visa Bulletin, due to be released in September 2008 should “open” again EB3 visas for Indian nationals. Note that EB2 visa numbers are “current” for all other nationalities except China which is as of January 1, 2003.