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January 2010 Employment Based Visa Bulletin


BY Zhang and Associates, P.C. [ December 11, 2009 at 14:30:49 ]

The Department of State has just released the new visa bulletin for January 2010 on December 10, 2009.

Last month, the EB-2 category for both mainland Chinese and Indian nationals remained unchanged from the November visa bulletin. In addition, the EB-1 category stayed current for worldwide applicants. Cut-off dates in the EB-3 category moved forward nine days from April 22, 2001 to May 1, 2001 for Indian nationals and did not change for mainland Chinese nationals.

Based on the January 2010 visa bulletin, USCIS reports that the EB-1 category is still current in all countries. In the EB-2 category, cutoff dates for mainland Chinese nationals progressed one month from April 1, 2005 to May 1, 2005, but remained the same for Indian nationals. In the EB-3 category, the cutoff dates for mainland Chinese nationals progressed 2 months from June 1, 2002 to August 1, 2002 and progressed 53 days for Indian nationals from May 1, 2001 to June 22, 2001.

The EB-2 and EB-3 categories are usually backlogged or unavailable year-round. We are fairly certain that the EB-3 category will become unavailable once again this year. As the EB-3 category is for unskilled workers, skilled workers with at least 2 years of experience, and professionals with a bachelor’s degree, the pool of applicants is much larger than for the EB-1 and EB-2 categories, which are usually reserved for highly specialized workers or workers with graduate level degrees. Perhaps with the recent implementation of new protocol at USCIS, visa backlogging will not be as much of a problem this year.

Our firm has mentioned in previous bulletins that if you are a prospective employment based applicant and think you may qualify for an EB-1, please contact us so that we may assess your case.

Even if you do not think you qualify, then perhaps you may benefit from setting up a consultation with us nonetheless. Part of the EB-2 category, a National Interest Waiver (NIW) is an immigrant-based petition for aliens whose work is of merit and use to the United States of America. The qualifications for this category are less stringent than the EB-1 category. For this reason, many prospective residents apply for EB-2s. Unfortunately, this large volume of applicants has caused heavy backlogging.

In the past, we have worked with some clients who initially retain our firm for a national interest waiver and then later retain us for an EB-1. Despite the EB-2 category being heavily backlogged, submitting an employment based application will guarantee applicants a “spot” in line for a visa. The entire application process may take anywhere from several months/years to receive NIW and I-485 approval. The logic behind this method follows as such. While waiting for NIW/I-485 approval, applicants have time to improve their professional credentials, quite often, enough to qualify for an EB-1. Because of the fast processing time and greater availability of visa numbers, an applicant’s EB-1/I-485 could be approved long before that applicant’s NIW/I-485 is approved.

This year, from January to November, we had 400 NIW and 200 EB-1 applications approved. Because visa numbers are usually always current in the EB-1 category, this ensures that a petitioner’s application will not only be processed rather quickly (compared to other employment based categories), but that approved applicants will not have to face heavy visa backlogging. In particular, strong EB-1(a) candidates can opt to file their applications via premium processing, under which, a decision will be passed within 15 business days. As such, filing an EB-1 application is a very attractive option for employment based petitioners.

At Zhang and Associates, P.C., we realize that each case is different and that no two people have the same credentials. The experienced lawyers at Zhang and Associates, P.C. will specifically assess your credentials and let you know what the best course of action is for you.

--Special notice:
To express our heartfelt appreciation to our clients, Zhang & Associates’ Chicago office will host a Client Appreciation Party on Saturday, December 19, 2009 for clients in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin. Attorneys Jerry Zhang, Annie Yang, Victor Bush and Tejas Shah will attend the party.
As a valued client, you and your family are invited to join us in celebration as we thank you for your continued support of our firm.
The schedule of the client appreciation party is as follows:

Time: 10:30 a.m. CST, December 19, 2009
Meeting Location: Room 303 (inside the Festival Hall, on the east side of the Pier).
Address: Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. Chicago, IL 60611

Parking: The Navy Pier offers on-site parking garages at a flat rate of $24 / day. The pier is also easily accessible by public transportation.

The party will be held at the Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest. Filled with rides, games, music, live entertainment and spectacular decorations, the festival will be a magical experience for attendees of all ages. Some of the activities include an ice skating rink, ferris wheel, reindeer express train ride, an obstacle course, hang glider ride, and cookie decorating.

Sandwiches and soft drinks will be served promptly at 11 a.m.; at which time we will also distribute wristbands to all guests. At noon, you are free to explore the festival, which will stay open until 10 p.m.

Admission is free. Space is limited to our clients, their family members, and a few invitees, and will be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. Lunch is complimentary from the firm to all attendees.

If you would like to attend, please click the following link to register:
http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e2n8eefbg2nrv94c/start

We will send you a confirmation email after you finish registration. Moreover, each attendee will be given a name tag.

Thank you for your cooperation.


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