April 2012 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State today released the Visa Bulletin for April, 2012. The rapid forward movement of EB-2 in recent months has unfortunately come to a stop. Cutoff dates for both China and India EB2 categories remained the same as March: May 1, 2010. The Visa Office warned about potential slow down or even retrogression of cutoff dates in January, and today it became reality.

Visa bulletins are used to regulate the allocation of visa numbers. When demand goes up, cutoff dates may have to be moved back to prevent accidental over-consumption of visas. On the other hand, if demand level is low and there is a possibility of having unused visa numbers in the end, cutoff dates will be advanced accordingly to avoid wasting any. So there is still a chance that BE-2 will move forward again, and if it does, it will probably happen around July time frame.  In addition, if there is visa spill-over, meaning that unused EB-1 visa numbers are being passed down to EB-2, we might see another jump in the Summer.

Below is China EB2 visa bulletin movement so far for fiscal year 2012 (India EB2 is the same for this period):

VB Year VB Month Cut-Off Date (Y-M-D) Movement (days) Wait Time (days)
2012 4 2010-05-01 0 701
2012 3 2010-05-01 120 670
2012 2 2010-01-01 365 761
2012 1 2009-01-01 292 1095
2011 12 2008-03-15 135 1356
2011 11 2007-11-01 109 1461
2011 10 2007-07-15 91 1539


All EB-1 categories, as well as all EB-2 other than India and China, remain current. This means that anyone who belongs to one of these classifications is eligible to file new I-485, and if they already did, their applications are eligible for approval.

All EB-3 categories are still heavily backlogged, while moving at an extremely slow pace from month to month. Here is an comparison for April:

EB-3 Visa Bulletin Cut-Off Date (Y-M-D) Movement (days) Wait Time (days)
ROW April 2012 2006-04-08 24 2185
China April 2012 2005-03-01 59 2588
India April 2012 2002-09-01 10 3500
Mexico April 2012 2006-04-08 24 2185
Philippines April 2012 2006-04-08 24 2185


Interestingly, as of late Friday night, the Department of State hasn’t updated their Website to show the April 2012 Visa Bulletin. However, the PDF version was posted earlier today and the voice recording (202-663-1541) has been updated with new cutoff dates for April. So the visa bulletin is indeed official, but it appears that someone at the Visa Office simply forgot to update the visa bulletin page before leaving for the weekend.

5 thoughts on “April 2012 Visa Bulletin”

  1. Thanks for this post, it is very informative. I’m so disappointed the EB-2 category stopped moving ahead in the past two months. My PD unfortunately is May 10, 2010, missed it by just 9 days…

    when are they going to reform this entire immigration process for people who are here the legal way and who are tax payers and serve in local communities, unlike “the others”!!

  2. How long does it take between the time you get a visa# and the time you get the actual green card ( I am in the EB3 world wide, , my PD is 11/2006 so i am hoping to get a visa # by 12/2006 but wondering how long it will take for me to get the actual green card)

  3. Once your PD is current, your case will be processed based on RD (Received Date). So it is hard to estimate how long it takes after a visa number is granted, as it varies widely from days to months or even more. However, because of the heavy backlog in recent years, it is quite possible that older cases like yours have been pre-adjudicated and are just waiting for visa numbers. If this is the case, you may see approval shortly after your priority date turns current. You may also contact USCIS if you don’t hear anything after a couple of weeks just to make sure there is nothing holding up your application.

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