Labor Immigration Law

United States Labor Immigration Law News and Analysis

EB-2 India and China Cutoff Dates Moved (“Internally”) Back to August 15, 2007; I-485 Filings Still Possible

We have written extensively over the past few weeks about the upcoming retrogression in the EB-2 India and China categories.   So, it should not come as a surprise that the Department of State has confirmed what we have anticipated and expected for a couple of weeks — namely, that the Department of State has “internally” moved back the cutoff dates for EB-2 India and China to August 15, 2007.

Department of State Confirms EB-2 India and China “Internal” Retrogression Even Before the Official May 2012 Visa Bulletin is Released

Mr. Charlie Oppenheim, the Chief of Visa Control at the State Department, has confirmed that, effective March 23, 2012, no further EB-2 visas will be authorized for China-mainland born and India applicants with priority dates of August 15, 2007, or later.  It should be noted that immigrant visa applicants processing in the month of April at consulates abroad will still receive visas, as those numbers were allocated before the cut-off date was established.

USCIS to Continue Accepting I-485 Applications for Adjustment of Status; Pending I-485 Will be Preadjudicated

Despite this “internal” retrogression, Mr. Oppenheim has confirmed that USCIS will continue to accept for the rest of the month of April new I-485 applications for adjustment of status for Indian and Chinese nationals with priority dates prior to the date established in the April 2012 Visa Bulletin.

Those filed and pending I-485 cases with priority dates of August 15, 2007, or later, should not see any approvals over the next few months.   Instead, those cases will be processed by USCIS to the point of approval (pre-adjudicated) and a request for a visa number will be forwarded to Visa Control at DOS to be held in a “pending” file until new visas are available beginning with FY2013 on October 1, 2012.

Conclusion

Many EB-2 India and China I-485 applicants will be disappointed by the fact that no new I-485 approvals will come for at least several months.   However, the fact that EB-2 India and China cutoff dates moved so significantly over the past several months has allowed many applicants to file their (and their families’) I-485 applications.   Among the immediate benefits of an I-485 filing are advance parole and work permit documents, in addition to ability to port a pending I-485 to a new employer under AC21.

As we enter the last 20-25 days of the current cutoff dates, we urge those EB-2 India and China applicants who are eligible to file their I-485s due to a current (as of the April 2012 Visa Bulletin) priority date to aim to do so as soon as possible and in any case before the end of the month.    Please contact us if we can be of any assistance in the process.

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This article is presented by the Capitol Immigration Law Group PLLC, an immigration law firm serving individual and corporate clients in the Washington, D.C. area and nationwide. We specialize in U.S. labor immigration law and we have successfully represented individuals from more than 30 countries and Fortune 100 companies. The article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney. For more information, please contact us.