VISA BULLETIN: A SUPRISINGLY “BIG JUMP” IN PRIORITY DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT BASED CATEGORIES IN JULY 2007by Shah Peerally, Attorney at Law, email:[email protected] Phone (510) 742 5887
For the Month of July 2007, we saw an incredibly surprising and nice “jump” in the priority dates of employment based categories. Indeed, the priority dates for all the Employment Based Categories of EB1, EB2, EB3 (except others workers), EB4 and EB5 became current. The current dates have long been awaited by many especially under the EB3 categories and countries with previous retrogressions such as India, China, Mexico and and Philippines. The Chart now reads as follows:
Areas Except Those Listed
|Iraqi & Afghani Translators||Current||Current||Current||Current||Current|
The same chart in June read the following:
WHAT IS THE VISA BULLETIN?
In simple terms, the visa bulletin sets up priority dates with numerical limitations allotted by the State Department to issue immigrant visas. Such visas are immigrant visas which in fact are available Permanent Residence (“Greencard”) numbers. Note that the immigrant visas should not be confused with non immigrant visas, which are just entry permits in the United States (usually without immigrant intent).
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE A CURRENT PRIORITY DATE?
A current priority is very important because it entitles someone to file to adjustment of status or obtain consular processing to process his or her permanent residence. Basically this person is able to file for the last step of the process of the greencard which is the ultimate goal of someone who wants to obtain permanent residence in the United States. In fact, filing the adjustment of status if someone is in the United States will allow someone to also file for the Employment Authorization Card. In addition, if the applications are pending for more than 180 days, one is eligible to port to another company under the AC 21 portability provisions.
WHY SHOULD SOMEONE ACT IMMEDIATELY IF HIS OR HER PRIORITY DATE IS CURRENT?
In the past years, the priority dates have been a roll coaster for countries such as India, Mexico, China and Philippines. In fact, it has been as much an emotional roll coaster for foreign nationals from those countries. Some have probably even given up waiting for the dates to become current. To our pleasant surprise, for the month of July 2007 we saw an incredible “jump” in the numerical limitations (“priority dates”) established by the State Department. Now the question is how long it will last? Based on a glance at the previous visa bulletins, it seems that this current ideal situation will not last for long. As soon as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receives enough petitions, there will be no more acceptance of new adjustment of status based on the current priority dates. There will ultimately be a cut-off date.
WHAT SHOULD SOME DO IF HIS OR HER PRIORITY DATE IS CURRENT?
If your priority date is current, you should contact your attorney or an immigration attorney experienced in employment based immigration immediately. Our office has handled many adjustment of status cases. You are welcome to call us on (510) 742 5887, we will be glad to meet with you and assist you.
 EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES
INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed. Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal. The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit. These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas: CHINA-mainland born, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.