Reports from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) indicate that the rate of new filings for adjustment of status in recent months has been extremely low. This has prompted the continued rapid advancement of the cut-off dates for the India and China EB-2 (Employment-Based, second preference) category in an attempt to generate demand and maximize number use under the annual limit. Cut-off dates will jump forward a full year, from January 1, 2009 to January 1, 2010, according to the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) February 2012 Visa Bulletin. This follows a nearly 10-month jump in January and, accordingly, marks the second month in a row for significant movement in the EB-2 category.
This substantial forward movement will allow many additional individuals to proceed to the final stage in the lengthy lawful permanent residence (“green card”) process, starting February 1. Employers and foreign nationals must keep in mind that, should there be a dramatic increase in demand in response to next month’s advancement, retrogression of EB-2 cut-off dates for India and China is a distinct possibility later in the year.
Ogletree Deakins helps clients respond to cut-off date movement by generating priority date reports and notifying clients who are qualified to begin the final phase of their lawful permanent resident application process. We will work with employees, who have priority dates that will become current on February 1, 2012, to ensure that their cases are ready to file and to keep their permanent residence process moving forward.