Announced in the September Visa Bulletin, Employment-Based Immigration: Second Preference (EB-2) visa have retrogressed for all countries except India to January 1, 2013, India has retrogressed to January 1, 2007. This is effective immediately and will remain through September 30, 2018. Employment-Based Immigration: Third Preference (EB-3) visa have retrogressed for all countries except for China and India to November 1, 2016. China’s have advanced four months to November 1, 2014, and India and retrogressed to January 1, 2003. This is also effective immediately and will remain through September 30, 2018. The newly retrogressed worldwide EB-2 and EB-3 categories are expected to be returned to their August priority dates when the new fiscal year begins on October 1. Similarly, China EB-2 and India EB-2 and EB-3 are expected to return to their August priority dates in October.
Every year, Congress sets limits on the number of immigrant visas that can be issued each year. In order to adjust status to that of a legal permanent resident, also known as a Green Card holder, an immigrant visa must be available to the applicant both at the time of filing and at the time of adjudication. Visa retrogression happens when a country’s visa allowance is not “current”, but rather a cutoff date is imposed on its applicants. The Department of State publishes a monthly Visa Bulletin which lists the cutoff dates that govern visa availability. It determines which applicants are eligible to file for adjustment of status, as well as which applicants are eligible for permanent resident status. Applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cutoff date published in the most current Visa Bulletin are eligible to apply for permanent residence.
EB-2 visas are employment-based immigration visas that are eligible for people who can demonstrate a degree of expertise significantly above the ordinary in the fields of science, art or business. The applicants must meet three out of the following seven criteria:
- Official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability
- Letters documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation
- A license to practice your profession or certification for your profession or occupation
- Evidence that you have commanded a salary or other remuneration for services that demonstrates your exceptional ability
- Membership in a professional association(s)
- Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, professional or business organizations
- Other comparable evidence of eligibility is also acceptable
To learn more about EB-2 visas, please click here.
EB-3 visas are employment-based immigration visas that are eligible for people who are skilled worker, professional, or other worker.
- “Skilled workers” are persons whose job requires a minimum of 2 years training or work experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature
- “Professionals” are persons whose job requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent and are a member of the professions
- The “other workers” subcategory is for persons performing unskilled labor requiring less than 2 years training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature.
The EB-1 visa, which unexpected retrogressed worldwide last month, have advanced one month to June 1, 2016 for all countries except for China and India. The retrogression date for China and India have remained at January 1, 2012.
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