The U.S. State Department has just released the June 2012 Visa Bulletin which is the ninth Visa Bulletin for the FY2012 fiscal year. The major headline in the upcoming month’s bulletin is the unavailability in the EB-2 India and China categories, the significant (four months) advancement in EB-3 China, the continued forward movement in FB-1 and the possibility of a cutoff date for EB-1/EB-2 ROW.
Summary of the June 2012 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based (EB)
Below is a summary of the June 2012 Visa Bulletin with respect to employment-based petitions:
- EB-1 remains current across the board.
- EB-2 remains current for EB-2 ROW, Mexico and Philippines. EB-2 India and EB-2 China are unavailable.
- EB-3 ROW and EB-3 Mexico move forward by five (5) weeks to June 8, 2006. EB-3 Philippines moves forward by three (3) weeks to May 22, 2006, EB-3 China moves forward by more than four (4) months to August 8, 2005, while EB-3 India moves forward by only one (1) week to September 15, 2002.
- The “other worker” category remains unchanged (again) at April 22, 2003 for China. It moves forward by five (5) weeks for ROW and Mexico, while EB-3 Philippines moves forward by three (3) weeks to May 22, 2006. It also moves forward by one (1) week for India to September 15, 2002.
Summary of the June 2012 Visa Bulletin – Family-Based (FB)
Below is a summary of the June 2012 Visa Bulletin with respect to family-based petitions:
- FB-1 moves forward (again, for ninth consecutive month). FB-1 ROW, China and India all move forward by seven (7) weeks to June 22, 2005. FB-1 Mexico remains unchanged at May 15, 1993 and FB-1 Philippines remains unchanged at July 1, 1997.
- FB-2A moves forward by six (6) weeks to January 1, 2010 for ROW, China, India, and Philippines. FB-2A Mexico moves forward by seven (7) weeks to December 8, 2009.
- FB-2B ROW, China and India move forward by seven (7) weeks to April 15, 2004. FB-2B Mexico moves forward by one (1) month to January 1, 1992 and FB-2B Philippines remains unchanged at December 8, 2001.
Unavailability in EB-2 India and China Caused by High Demand/Number of Filings; No Forward Movement (or Approvals) Expected Until at Least October 2012; Slow Movement for EB-3; Continued Forward Movement in FB-1
One of the major headlines this month, in the ninth Visa Bulletin for the Fiscal Year 2012 is the unavailability in the EB-2 India and China categories. This follows the dramatic retrogression in the previous, May 2012, Visa Bulletin. Although this unavailability does not come as a surprise to our clients and readers who may have seen our repeated alerts over the past few weeks, the unavailability would certainly cause disappointment to many I-485 Indian or Chinese applicants.
As many of our clients and readers remember, the May 2012 Visa Bulletin indicated a significant retrogression for EB-2 India and China. Despite the retrogression of the China and India Employment Second preference cut-off date to August 15, 2007, demand for numbers by applicants with priority dates earlier than that date remained excessive. Such demand is primarily based on cases which had originally been filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for adjustment of status in the Employment Third preference category, and are now eligible to be upgraded to Employment Second preference status. Unfortunately, the potential amount of such “upgrade” demand is not currently being reported, but, according to the Department of State, it was evident that the continued availability of Employment Second preference numbers for countries other than China and India was being jeopardized. Therefore, the Department of State had to make the China and India Employment Second preference category “Unavailable” in early April and is expected to remain so until October 1.
In addition to the notable EB-2 India and China columns, this Visa Bulletin also shows continued forward movement in the FB-1 category which has been moving steadily for the past several months. We continue to see the FB-2A category move forward, although by not as much as we saw for the last few months and after the significant retrogression during the months before.
EB-2 India and China Predictions
According to the Department of State, the EB-2 India and China categories will remain unavailable for the rest of the fiscal year which ends on September 30, 2012. The first visa bulletin for the new fiscal year, starting on October 1, should be published somewhere around September 10-15th.
All indications are that visa numbers will once again become available for EB-2 India and China. However, the Department of State, in an explicit note in the June 2012 Visa Bulletin warns that although they will make every attempt to move the cutoff dates back to May 1, 2010, it may take until Spring of 2013 to do so.
EB-1 and EB-2 Rest of World (ROW) May Be Limited by Introducing a Cutoff Date
The Department of State has reiterated their comment from the May 2012 Visa Bulletin that it is possible that a cutoff date may be introduced for EB-1 and EB-2 ROW cases. The reason is, not surprisingly, the heavy demand in numbers over the past few months, mainly by EB-2 India and China applicants. Based on the current rate of demand, according to the Department of State, it may be necessary to establish a cutoff date for the EB-1 and/or EB-2 ROW categories.
Further Updates and News
We invite you to subscribe to our free weekly immigration newsletter to receive timely updates on this and related topics. We also invite you to contact us if our office can be of any assistance in your immigration matters or you have any questions or comments about the June 2012 Visa Bulletin. Finally, if you already haven’t, please consider our Visa Bulletin Predictions tool which provides personalized predictions and charts helping you understand when a particular priority date may become current and what are the movement patterns.