EB-2 for India may Retrogress as Early as November

According to Charles Oppenheim, the Chief of the visa Control and Reporting Division, US Department of State, the usage patterns for India, the number of visas used, etc. mean that there will definately be retrogression, and it may happen as soon as November. India has seen rapid forward movement of its priority date for the EB-2 category over the past months because the DOS is trying to ensure that all immigrant visas are used before the end of the current fiscal year. As a result many more people from India are filing their adjustment of status applications based upon their older I-140 EB-2 applications now coming current. While USCIS is trying to adjudicate these cases as quickly as possible, a number will be left over by the time the new fiscal year starts on October 1, 2014. This means that there will be a number of people with cases ready for adjudication at the beginning of the fiscal year which, in turn, means that a number of the immigrant visas allocated to Inida will be used quite quickly, necessitating the retorgression.

If past trends hold, however, then, as the fiscal year progresses, the DOS will be able to move the dates for India forward to use the otherwise unused numbers from other countries.

Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.

Image courtsey of http://www.thats-bejing.com

September Visa Bulletin – A little Movement

The September Visa Bulletin was released by the Department of State and does show a little movement forward in certain categories.  First we will look at the family based immigrant visas.  In this area, there was not much movement forward, but a few notable movements are:

  • Unmarried sons and daughters of US Citizens:  Moved forward about 1 month to May 2007 for most countries.
  • Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents:  Moved forwards about 6 months to January 1, 2013 for most countries.
  • Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:  Moved forward about 2 months to September 1, 2007
  • The other categories had little to no movement.

In the employment Based Categories there were only two areas in which there was movement:

  • India in the 2nd preference moved forward from January 22, 2009 to May 1, 2009.
  • In addition the Philippines moved forward in both the 3rd preference and All other categories from June 1, 2010 to April 1, 2011 – almost a one year jump.

While it is good that India is moving forward in the 2nd preference, this is what the DOS stated in terms of the movement forward for India in the 2nd preference for the coming months:

“The use of potentially “otherwise unused” Employment numbers prescribed by Section 202(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) has allowed the India Employment Second preference cut-off date to advance very rapidly in recent months. Continued forward movement of this cut-off date during the upcoming months cannot be guaranteed, however, and no assumptions should be made until the dates are formally announced. Once there is a significant increase in India Employment Second preference demand it will be necessary to retrogress the cut-off date, possibly as early as November, to hold number use within the fiscal year 2015 annual limit.”

We shall keep you updated if the DOS releases any additional guidance

Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.

 

EB-1A Extraordinary Ability: The Cold Hard Facts

approval-rating

Many times we hear from clients or prospective clients that a “friend” of theirs, who has much less in the way of credentials, was approved for an EB-1A.  Sometimes it was a  “friend of a friend” or a “relative”  or some other acquaintance who had the approval.  While I have no idea if these individual stories are accurate or not (and I do suspect that some of these people may have been approved in different categories, either the EB-1B Outstanding Researcher (employer sponsored) or the EB-2 National Interest Waiver (self-sponsored))  I do know that numbers wise, very few people, especially on a country by country basis, are approved in this category every year.

Overall, every year there are 40,040 immigrant visas made available to the EB-1 category.  Each country gets approximately 3% of these immigrant visas per year.   There is also a limited number of visas that can be re-allocated from countries that typically do not use all their visas, to those that use more, but this is very limited and may, only bring a single countries usage up to 7% of the total or approximately 2,802 immigrant visas in this category.  It should be noted that this 3% includes all three application types in this category:  the EB-1A Extraordinary Ability AND the EB-1B Outstanding Researcher AND the EB-1C Intracompany Transferee.  All three application types share the number of visas in this category.  It also included not just the principal filer, but their spouses and children as well.   It should also be noted, that there is no backlog in this category for any country, so the maximum number of visas in this category allocated to each country is not even being used, further bringing down the overall number of approvals.  Overall, there are simply not that many people per country getting approved in this category.

Looking at USCIS statistics, this category, the EB-1A, has a historic approval rating of just over 50%, again showing how difficult this is.  Plus, you also need to take into account that there is a certain percentage of cases that are filed that definitely qualify (they won a Nobel Prize or similar, or they have huge amounts of documentation).  Once those people are taken into account, the actual approval rating for those with less sure cases is even lower.  This is in stark comparison to the EB-1B Outstanding Researcher which has an approval rating in the 90% range.

So for those approved in this category, congratulations you are truly one of a small percentage.  For those looking at applying in this category, do not deceive yourself into thinking it is easy as it is not.  It is possible to get approved with the right documentation and the right arguments, that is what is sets apart those cases that are approved, and those that are not.  We will discuss more about the kinds of documentation necessary in future posts.

As always remember while blogs are good at disseminating general information, you can only get good legal advice by contacting and discussing your specific case with a qualified attorney.

The April Visa Bulletin is out

The April 2014 visa bulletin was released late last week.   For the Employment based categories, China 2nd Preference moved to March 8, 2009 and 3rd Preference worldwide, China and Mexico moved up a month to October 1, 2012.  India Second and Third Preference stayed the same and Philippines 3rd Preference also moved up a month to June 15, 2007.

In terms of Family numbers, F1 numbers moved up about 20 days to February 22, 2007 for Worldwide, India and China and to November 1, 1993 for Mexico and November 1, 2001 for the Philippines.  F2A numbers stayed the same and F2B numbers moved forward almost two months to October 22, 2006 for Worldwide, China and India but stayed the same for Mexico and Philippines.  F3 numbers moved up about 1 month for Worldwide, China and India and about 1-2 weeks for Mexico (June 22, 1993) and Philippines (February 22, 1993).  And lastly, the F4 numbers moved up about 1 week for everyone.

The Department of State did not update its estimates of movement that it put out last month, but so far, they are following those estimates fairly closely.