The Department of State (DOS) has announced that, effective Monday, July 2, 2007, the full supply of employment-based visa numbers available for FY2007 (ending September 30, 2007) has been depleted. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has also announced that it will reject Form I-485 Adjustment of Status applications received in July following the DOS announcement.
According to the DOS and USCIS, almost 60,000 employment-based immigrant visas were approved in June. According to the DOS, employment preference numbers will once again become available beginning October 1, 2007, the start of the new fiscal year.
DOS will not announce October immigrant visa cutoff dates until mid-September. However, we do expect quota lines for categories that historically have had quota lines, e.g., EB-3 for all countries and some countries under the EB-2 category. Although we do not know at this time what the availability will be in each preference category, we do recommend the following actions for those employees whose I-485 applications were being prepared.
Please continue to obtain and provide us with the following:
- Birth certificates for principal applicants and any derivative beneficiaries (or secondary evidence of birth, which must meet specific USCIS requirements)
- Marriage certificates and divorce decrees, if applicable
- Criminal records
Please note that medical records are only valid for one year from the date of the exam. Because we do not know at this time what the visa cut off dates will be for October 1, 2007, if you proceed with having your medical exam(s) at this time, please understand that there is a risk that they may have to be re-taken in the future. For those who have already obtained medical records, we will try to use them with future filings.
In our previous alert, we recommended that those who were filing adjustment of status applications to not travel during the month of July. Due to the revised Visa Bulletin, you can travel as usual with a valid passport, valid visa stamp, if necessary, and proof of current nonimmigrant status.
The DOS mid-month retrogression is unprecedented, poorly-timed and unfortunate. To our knowledge this is the first time immigrant visas numbers have retrogressed in mid-month. We understand the hardship this will cause to many disappointed applicants. We will provide additional updates as information becomes available.
Note: This article was published in the July 2, 2007 issue of the Immigration eAuthority.