|The Department of State released the new visa bulletin for May 2010 on April 9, 2010.|
The EB-1 category is current for May. In the EB-2 category, dates moved forward one month for mainland Chinese nationals to September 22, 2005 and remained unchanged for Indian nationals (February 1, 2005). In the EB-3 category, dates progressed from February 1, 2003 to April 22, 2003 and from September 8, 2001 to October 1, 2001 for Chinese and Indian nationals respectively.
For the month of April, the EB-1 category was current. For mainland Chinese nationals, the cut-off date progressed from July 8, 2005 to August 22, 2005 in the EB-2 category. For Indian nationals, the cut-off date in the EB-2 category remained unchanged from March (February 1, 2005). In the EB-3 category, dates progressed for mainland Chinese nationals from December 15, 2002 to February 1, 2003 and for Indian nationals from July 1, 2001 to September 8, 2001.
Due to the economic crisis, there have been fewer applicants for PERM EB-2 this fiscal year. In 2008, 2,060 PERM applications were submitted to the Atlanta processing center; however, in 2009, the number of applicants decreased to 1,322. When visa numbers were open to all categories in June and July 2007, USCIS received an increased number of I-140 and I-485 petitions. USCIS is currently reviewing these cases. Once cut-off dates pass this specific period, the review process should speed-up considerably.
This current trend also affects beneficiaries from countries where visa numbers are not current or oversubscribed, particularly Chinese and Indian nationals. Fewer applicants do mean that these people stand to benefit. However, unused numbers do not directly transfer to oversubscribed countries in the same category. This is a misconception. Instead, they “roll down” to the next preference category, EB-3. As a result of visa numbers “rolling down”, some numbers eventually make their way back to the EB-2 category. The reasoning behind this follows as such. When visa demand is assessed every quarter, INA Section 202(a)(5) allows these extra visa numbers to go applicants regardless of their country of origin. For undersubscribed countries, extra numbers count towards the 7% total, as these countries do not usually fill their quota anyway. For oversubscribed countries, these extra visa numbers do not count towards the 7% limit. This makes it possible for countries like China and India to exceed their per country limitation and essentially for more beneficiaries to receive visas. With a decrease in PERM EB-2 applications, our firm predicts that cut-off dates for Chinese and Indian nationals will continue to move forward in the coming months.
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