New updates and projections regarding demand in the employment-based second preference immigrant visa category for individuals chargeable to India have been provided.
As articulated in the October Visa Bulletin, retrogression of the EB-2 India category appears imminent and could happen as early as November. The cutoff date in the EB-2 India category during October will be May 1, 2009. This means that applicants in the EB-2 category chargeable to India with a priority date prior to May 1, 2009 may file adjustment of status (AOS) applications or have applications approved in October 2014.
According to a report on the recent conversation between American Immigration Lawyers Association members and Charlie Oppenheim from the Department of State’s Visa Office, given the current demand in the EB-2 India category, the cutoff date will soon retrogress. The new cutoff date may be in early 2005 and may take effect as early as November 1, 2014. This means that any eligible EB-2 applicants chargeable to India should plan to file AOS applications by the end of October because the window of opportunity may be closing. These updates, however, are based on Mr. Oppenheim’s impressions as of early September and are subject to change.
A major factor in this anticipated retrogression is the large volume of I-140 petitions in the EB-2 category being filed on behalf of individuals chargeable to India who were previously in the EB-3 category. Based on this high volume of EB-3 to EB-2 “upgrades” being filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Mr. Oppenheim anticipates a large volume of demand for immigrant visa numbers in the EB-2 India category in the coming months.
In addition, the maximum number of EB-2 India immigrant visas available for Fiscal Year 2014 has been reached. Therefore, EB-2 India visas are "unavailable" until October 1, 2014. USCIS offices may continue to accept and process EB-2 India cases with priority dates earlier than May 1, 2009 during September. However, instead of being acted on immediately, those cases will be held in the Visa Office’s "Pending Demand" file until October 1, 2014, at which time they will be authorized.
For the complete October Visa Bulletin Alert, please see here.
For more information, or if you have any questions regarding the issues discussed in this Immigration Alert, please contact any of the following lawyers:
Lisa Stephanian Burton