As predicted in the August/September 2014 issue of the Immigration eAuthority, the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Visa Bulletin for November 2014 indicates that the priority date for the employment-based second preference category (EB-2) for Indian nationals will retrogress more than four years, back to February 15, 2005. The Visa Bulletin sets out per country priority dates that regulate when an individual may begin the final phase of the “green card” process, either through adjustment of status or consular processing of an immigrant visa application. Those with a priority date that is earlier than the date listed for that visa category and country can proceed with their application.
The November retrogression is due to high demand in the EB-2 category caused by a significant percentage of EB-3 to EB-2 upgrades by Indian nationals. Indian nationals in the EB-2 category with a current priority under the October Visa Bulletin should file adjustment of status (AOS) applications no later than October 31, 2014.
What to Expect in Upcoming Months
For the remainder of October, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to accept EB-2 applications from Indian nationals with a priority date of May 1, 2009 or earlier. However, beginning November 1, 2014, pending AOS applications with a priority date later than February 15, 2005 will be held for processing until the applicable priority date becomes current. DOS predicts no forward movement in this category in the upcoming months.
DOS also predicts little, if any, forward movement in the EB-3 category for Indian nationals. However, significant forward movement is expected in the EB-3 category for Chinese nationals and in the EB-3 “worldwide” category (nationals of countries other than China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines).
Ogletree Deakins will continue to work with eligible EB-2 Indian nationals with current priority dates to ensure that their AOS applications are filed with USCIS by the end of October. Ogletree Deakins is monitoring developments with respect to the Visa Bulletin and will provide updates as more information becomes available.