Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

 

January 9ā 2012

Employment-Based Second Preference (EB-2) Cut-off Dates for China and India Continue Significant Advancement

The Visa Bulletin for February 2012 shows continued advancement of the priority date cut-offs for chargeability to China and India for the second preference employment based (EB-2) category. The cut-off date for both China and India advanced one year to January 1, 2010. This follows priority date advancement of 9.5 months for the January 2012 Visa Bulletin in these same categories. As weíve indicated in previous alerts, this advancement is a result of low demand this fiscal year for immigrant visas in the employment-based First Preference (EB-1) category (for persons of extraordinary ability, outstanding researchers or professors, and multinational managers and executives). Unused immigrant visas in the EB-1 category flow down into the second preference immigrant visa (EB-2) category, which can now be used to advance the backlogged EB-2 categories for China and India. The second preference category is for persons filling positions that require either an advanced degree or a bachelorís degree and at least five years of experience.

The immediate impact of this advancement is that on February 1, 2012, any foreign national born in China or India with a priority date of January 1, 2010 or earlier who has an approved or pending second preference I-140 immigrant petition, is eligible to file an I-485 adjustment of status application. Dependent family members may also apply for adjustment of status. Assuming no amended Visa Bulletin is published between now and February 29, 2012, I-485 applications will be received by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) through the end of February. It is important to file I-485 applications in February while immigrant visa numbers are available because we do not know what will happen with the cut-off dates as we progress further into the fiscal year. The large volume of I-485 applicants to be received by the government in these categories in January and February of 2012 could force the Department of State (the agency charged with determining the cut-off dates and publishing the Visa Bulletin) to retrogress the cut-off dates, or even make visa numbers in the second and third preference altogether unavailable for individuals who are from China or India. This would mean that individuals with current priority dates in February could be ineligible to file adjustment of status applications in March. Applicants for adjustment of status are eligible to apply for important benefits, including employment authorization and travel permission or ďadvance parole.Ē

Please donít hesitate to contact a member of the Mintz Levin Immigration Section for additional information regarding this or any other immigration issue you may have.

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