Update on EB-2 Visa Availability: EB-2 India to Advance
A recent update from USCIS and Charles Oppenheim at the Department of State indicated the EB-2 cutoff dates will advance, perhaps substantially, in May 2011. In an informational meeting with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Charlie Oppenheim, Chief, Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, advised that there has been a dramatic reduction in the use of EB-1 numbers. EB-1 is typically used by individuals of extraordinary ability, outstanding professor or researcher or are a multinational executive or manager. As a result, the planned visa number demand in this category can be adjusted downward. By doing this, the unused EB-1 numbers can be allocated to other categories. Mr. Oppenheim stated:
“[US]CIS says they have seen a decline in filings, and does not expect a change in the number use pattern. Therefore, this decline in EB-1 number use will allow me to begin having those ‘otherwise unused’ numbers drop down and be available for use in the EB-2 category. Based on current indications, that would mean that at least 12,000 additional numbers will be available to the EB-2 category. This situation will allow me to advance the India EB-2 cut-off date for May. The reason being that all ‘otherwise unused’ numbers are provided strictly in priority date order, and the India demand has the largest concentration of early dates.”
Mr. Oppenheim stated that the demand for EB-1 numbers started to diminish beginning in October 2010. Therefore, it is expected that the EB-2 category will move forward in the May 2011 Visa Bulletin. It would appear that this will affect primarily individuals from India and China. This recent news comes as a boon to those individuals who have been waiting for months without any movement in this category. While we cannot estimate how much the EB-2 priority date for India or China will advance, we certainly hope that it will move by a substantial amount, based on the 12,000 available visa numbers mentioned by Mr. Oppenheim.
With the EB-2 numbers moving forward, this will in turn cause an increase in I-485 adjustment of status filings for both the primary beneficiary or for their family members who have not been able to file the I-485 previously. Please contact our office if we can help you prepare and file your I-485 application or if you need assistance with interfiling your pending I-485 to a new and (soon to be) current EB-2 I-140.