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November 2012 Visa Bulletin – Second Visa Bulletin for Fiscal Year: EB-2 India Remains Unchanged at September 2004; EB-2 ROW is Current

The U.S. State Department has just released the November 2012 Visa Bulletin which is the second Visa Bulletin for the FY2013 fiscal year.   The major headline in the upcoming month’s Visa Bulletin is the lack of movement in EB-2 India and that EB-2 ROW is now back to “Current.”   Many have been looking forward to this Visa Bulletin in order to gauge the anticipated rate of the forward movement in EB-2 India over the next months; unfortunately, it seems that EB-2 India may face a very slow (if any) forward movement over the next months.

Summary of the November 2012 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based (EB)

Below is a summary of the November 2012 Visa Bulletin with respect to employment-based petitions:

  • EB-1 remains current across the board.
  • EB-2 for ROW, Mexico and Philippines are all now current (after they had a cutoff date of January 1, 2012 in October).    EB-2 India remains unchanged at (the severely retrogressed) September 1, 2004.   EB-2 China moves forward by six (6) weeks to September 1, 2007.
  • EB-3 ROW and EB-3 Mexico move forward by one (1) month to November 22, 2006.  EB-3 Philippines moves forward by only one (1) week to August 8, 2006, EB-3 China  moves forward by nine (9) weeks to April 15, 2006, while EB-3 India  moves forward by only one (1) week to October 22, 2002.
  • The “other worker” category moves forward by one (1) month for ROW and Mexico to November 22, 2006.  It moves forward by only one (1) week for Philippines to August 8, 2006 and by only one (1) week for China to July 1, 2003 for China.  It moves forward by one (1) week for India to October 22, 2002.

Summary of the November 2012 Visa Bulletin – Family-Based (FB)

Below is a summary of the November 2012 Visa Bulletin with respect to family-based petitions:

  • FB-1 continues to move forward.  FB-1 ROW, China and India all move forward by three (3) weeks  to November 1, 2005.   FB-1 Mexico moves forward by only one (1) week to June 22, 1993 and FB-1 Philippines moves forward by fifteen (15) months to July 1, 1997.
  • FB-2A moves forward by six (6) weeks to July 15, 2010 for ROW, China, India, and Philippines.  FB-2A Mexico moves forward by five (5) weeks to June 22, 2010.
  • FB-2B ROW, China and India all move forward by three (3) weeks to October 8, 2004.  FB-2B Mexico moves forward by two (2) weeks to October 15, 1992 while FB-2B Philippines moves forward by three (3) weeks to February 15, 2002.

No Progress in EB-2 India – Suggests Very Slow Forward Movement in the Future?

Many in the EB-2 India community have been eagerly anticipating to see what the November 2012 Visa Bulletin would look like in an effort to “predict” how quickly the cutoff dates in EB-2 India would move in the future.   Unfortunately, the November 2012 Visa Bulletin does not bring good news.   The lack of any movement in EB-2 India this month is a strong indication that there is simply too high of a demand in the EB-2 India category and that the Department of State would move the cutoff dates forward very slowly in order to allow USCIS to approve the (high) number of EB-2 cases filed and pending.    This is the Department of State’s way to “control” the demand of visas in this category (number of new I-485 filings) and to allow USCIS to work through the number of filed and pending I-485 applications in this category (many of whom are by now eligible for AC21 porting, however).

Based on the significant retrogression last month and the lack of any movement in EB-2 India this month, we expect that there will be very slow and gradual forward movement in this category over the next months.

EB-2 ROW Current

Another important development is that EB-2 ROW category is now back to “Current”, after it had a cutoff date for a few months.   The expectations are that EB-2 ROW will remain current, at least for a few months; however, it is possible that towards the end of the fiscal year — summer of 2013 — there may be a cutoff date established to control the rate of filings as the number of available visas in EB-2 ROW decreased (similar to what happened in the summer of 2012).

Stay Tuned for Visa Bulletin Predictions

Over the next couple of weeks, our office will be meeting with Mr. Charles Oppenheim, the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division at the U.S. Department of State and also known as the person responsible for the Visa Bulletin cutoff dates movement.    We expect to gain additional insight from Mr. Oppenheim on the trends and the expected movements in the cutoff dates over the next several months.   Stay tuned (on our website, Newsletter, Facebook or Twitter pages) for news.

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 November 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.

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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.