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Bloggings on Immigration Update

by Carl Shusterman

May Visa Bulletin Brings Bad News

There is little good news, but a lot of bad news, in the May 2012 Visa Bulletin.

The worldwide family categories all advance modestly, from 3 to 5 weeks. For persons born in Mexico and the Philippines, many of the categories fail to advance at all.

The worldwide EB-3 category moves forward 3 weeks while the other worldwide employment categories remain current.

The big news is that the EB-2 category for persons born in mainland China and India, retrogresses 3 years back to August 15, 2007, and that no relief can be expected until the new fiscal year begins on October 1, 2012.

Here is how the government describes the situation in the Visa Bulletin:


Due to the rapid forward movement of the cut-off date, demand for China and India Employment Second preference numbers has increased dramatically during recent months, and at a much faster rate than had been expected. Therefore, it has been necessary to retrogress that cut-off date to August 15, 2007 in an attempt to hold number use within the annual limit while maintaining availability for those countries that have not yet reached their per-country limit. Notices were included in the November, January, and February Visa Bulletins alerting readers to the possibility of such a retrogression. While corrective action has become necessary earlier than was anticipated based on the information available at the time cut-off dates were determined, it is hoped that readers are not caught off guard by this retrogression.

Should additional information regarding potential demand become available, it may be necessary to take additional corrective action at any time.

Every effort will be made to return the China and India Employment Second preference cut-off date to the previously announced April date of May 1, 2010. This will be done as quickly as possible under the FY-2013 annual limits, which take effect October 1, 2012. It will not be possible to speculate on the cut-off date which may apply at that time until late summer.

USCIS has indicated that it will continue accepting China and India Employment Second preference I-485 filings based on the originally announced April cut-off date.


Categories Worldwide China (PRC) Mexico Philippines
1st 5-01-05 5-01-05 5-15-93 7-1-97
2A 11-15-09 11-15-09 10-15-09 11-15-09
2B 2-22-04 2-22-04 12-01-92 12-08-01
3rd 3-08-02 3-08-02 1-15-93 7-22-92
4th 12-01-00 11-22-00 6-01-96 1-22-89


Categories Worldwide China (PRC) India Mexico Philippines
1st Current Current Current Current Current
2nd Current 8-15-07 8-15-07 Current Current
3rd 5-01-06 4-01-05 9-08-02 5-01-06 5-01-06
Unskilled 5-01-06 4-22-03 9-08-02 5-01-06 5-01-06
4th Current Current Current Current Current
Religious Current Current Current Current Current
5th Current Current Current Current Current

About The Author

Carl Shusterman is a certified Specialist in Immigration Law, State Bar of California. He was a former U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service Attorney and worked for the Board of Governors, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.