January 2012 Visa Bulletin: Great News for EB2

The Visa Bulletin for January 2012 was released this morning and both China and India EB2 leaped forward nearly 10 months to 2009/1/1. This is great news for people who missed the boat in 2007, and have not been able to apply for adjustment of status since. Starting next month, nationals from India and China can file for I-485/EAD/AP as long as their priority dates fall on 2008/12/31 or earlier.

The reason for such rapid movement of EB2, as explained by DOS, is that the level of new filings in the past couple of months have not been as high as expected. Advancing the cutoff date aggressively would allow more people to become eligible for I-485 or consular processing. Once enough applications have been received by USCIS and NVC, cut-off dates will stop advancing or even begin to retrogress. In fact, a fast movement like this makes it more likely that retrogress will happen, as compared to a slower but more steady pace.

Although DOS’ intention is to spur new applications, January 2012 visa bulletin does allow more time for older cases (especially those with PDs around July 2007) to be processed. Many of them have been current for a few months, but may be stuck for some reason. So overall, the January bulletin brings nothing but good news for EB2, even though some of you will have to spend your Christmas holidays getting all the documents ready.

The China and India Employment Second preference cut-off date has been advanced at a rapid rate in recent months. As previously noted, this action was intended to generate significant levels of new filings for adjustment of status at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. USCIS has reported that the rate of new filings is currently far below that which they had anticipated, prompting an even more aggressive movement of the cut-off date for January and possibly beyond. While this action greatly increases the potential for an eventual retrogression of the cut-off at some point during the year, it also provides the best opportunity to utilize all numbers available under the annual limit. – DOS

Below is the what our EB2 visa bulletin tracker shows (declining curve means improving retrogression):

All EB3 categories, unfortunately, continued their crawling pace to advance just a few days to a couple of weeks.

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