The U.S. State Department (DOS) has issued a worldwide priority date cut-off for the EB-2 (Employment-Based, second preference) category. According to the July 2012 Visa Bulletin, the EB-2 cut-off date has retrogressed to January 1, 2009.
EB-2 worldwide is still current under the June 2012 Visa Bulletin. Consequently, foreign nationals who qualify for EB-2 classification, and were not born in India or mainland China, may still file applications for adjustment of status or an immigrant visa through June 30, 2012. Timely-filed EB-2 applications will be retained by USCIS until visa numbers once again become available. Earlier, the DOS announced that, as of June 1, 2012, EB-2 category immigrant visas for China-mainland born and India will not be approved until the beginning of the new fiscal year. It is also possible that the EB-2 category could become unavailable worldwide before the end of this fiscal year (September 30) if there is continued high demand for immigrant visa numbers in this category.
When the new fiscal year begins on October 1, 2012 and new immigration visa quota numbers again become available, it is anticipated that the India/China cut-off will reveal a Summer 2007 date, while EB-2 worldwide should again become current.
In light of the worldwide retrogression in the EB-2 priority date cut-offs next month, Ogletree Deakins will work with eligible EB-2 nationals with current priority dates to help ensure that their immigrant visa and adjustment of status applications are filed and received by USCIS by June 30, 2012. Once the immigrant visa numbers retrogress, those with priority dates later than January 1, 2009, the cut-off date specified in the Visa Bulletin, will be unable to file until a visa number becomes available once again.