May 2012 Department of State Visa Bulletin

The new visa bulletin is out at this link: Employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current for all countries; EB-2 remains current, except for India and China (Aug. 15, 2007); EB-3 is at May 1, 2006 for all countries, except for India (Sept. 8, 2002) and China (April 1, 2005); EB-3 other workers is at April 8, 2006 for all countries, except India (Sept. 8, 2002), China (April 22, 2003); EB-4, religious workers, EB-5, and targeted employment areas and regional centers are all current. Family based petitions are backlogged, with the most recent date at Nov. 15, 2009 for F2A (spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents) and the longest queue for F4 Philippines (brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens) of Jan. 22, 1989.

The most dramatic change in the May 2012 visa bulletin is the retrogression of the EB-2 priority dates for China-mainland born and India immigrant visa applicants from May 1, 2010 to August 15, 2007. According to the Department of State (DOS), visa applicants processing in April at overseas consulates will still receive visas since those numbers were allocated before the cut-off date was established. As for U.S. adjustment of status applicants, USCIS will contine to receive and process applications for aliens with priority dates prior to the date established in the April visa bulletin, and those cases with priority dates of August 15, 2007, or later, will be forwarded to Visa Control at DOS and held in “pending” status until new visas are available with the start of FY2013 on October 1, 2012. The DOS has stated “Every effort will be made to return the China and India Employment Second preference cut-off date to the previously announced April date of May 1, 2010. This will be done as quickly as possible under the FY-2013 annual limits, which take effect October 1, 2012. It will not be possible to speculate on the cut-off date which may apply at that time until late summer.”

Map with North America depicted in white, with the most populated cities represented as small black dots, with darker shades indicating higher population density

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