January 2010 Visa Bulletin: PD Predictions For FY10
Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin has been released for January
2010. It reflects slight movement in EB3 for all countries. Those
categories that were previously current remain current in January. The
Visa Bulletin contains some helpful explanations and enlightening
predictions on the movement of priority dates (PDs), which we are pleased
to share with MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers. [The
most recent Visa Bulletin chart is always available
Copyright © 2010, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved
January 2010 Visa Bulletin
Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1)
This category remains current for all countries of chargeability.
Employment-Based, Second Preference
This category continues to be current for all
countries, except India and China. The cutoff date for India did not
change and continues to be January 22, 2005. The cutoff date for China
moved forward by one month, to May 1, 2005.
Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)
This category cutoff date moved forward for all countries. The
cutoff date for all chargeability areas except those listed advanced by
two months, to August 1, 2002. The same advancement and August 1, 2002
cutoff date also appears for China and the Philippines. India moved
forward by just under two months, to June 22, 2001. Mexico moved by one
month, to July 1, 2002.
The very limited EB3 "Other Worker"
category has a cutoff date of June 1, 2001 for all countries of
(EB4) and Employment-Based, Fifth (EB5) Preferences
EB4 and EB5 continue to be current for all countries of
Explanation of Stagnation
of Priority Dates
The Visa Bulletin explains
the reason for the unchanged cutoff dates in some of the EB categories,
noting that many of the EB categories were unavailable at the end of
FY2009. This resulted in a high level of demand for visa numbers at the
beginning of FY10, in October and November 2009.
The demand is
created by approvals of adjustment of status to permanent residence
(I-485) cases and immigrant visa approvals. The USCIS has been processing
more I-485 cases, thus utilizing more visa numbers. When the USCIS
processes enough cases to use the available visa numbers, then the DOS
does not face the possibility of having immigrant visa numbers that go
unused. The DOS often moves the cutoff dates forward in an attempt to
increase the volume and rate of number usage during a given fiscal year.
When USCIS processing happens more efficiently and at volumes high enough
to deplete the available immigrant visa numbers as they become available,
the DOS does not need to expand the number of cases eligible for approval
by moving the cutoff dates forward. Of course, depletion of the universe
of cases with priority dates before the cutoff date means the dates will
have to move forward at some point.
Predictions of Priority Dates for
The Visa Bulletin for January 2010
provides some helpful predictions for the future movement of cutoff dates
in the EB categories for the fiscal year 2010, which ends September 30,
2010. Of course, these are only predictions based on estimates of demand
from various countries for immigrant visa numbers.
Predictions of EB1 / EB2 All Countries other than India and
The Visa Bulletin confirms it is unlikely that cutoff
dates will be established in EB1 or the EB2 categories that are current
(all countries, other than India and China).
Predictions of EB2 for India and China
are provisions for movement of visa numbers within categories, and from
certain categories to others, if those numbers otherwise would go unused
in the particular fiscal year.
Rollover of Unused Visa Numbers
The Visa Bulletin predicts
that, if there is no such movement of unused numbers within EB2, the
expected cutoff date likely for India to reach by the end of the 2010
fiscal year would be between February and early March 2005. For China,
this would be sometime between July and October 2005.
If There is Rollover of Unused Visa
However, if there are unused numbers from other EB2
countries (as often occurs), the PDs (or cutoff dates) for both countries
could move anywhere from October to December 2005. If this type of
rollover of numbers occurs, the law requires that the cutoff dates for the
countries receiving these numbers be the same. Thus, one country may
receive more numbers than the other, in order to keep the priority dates
or cutoff dates identical.
The predictions for EB3 are that the category of all
chargeability areas except those listed will move to sometime between
April and August 2005, as will the Philippines.
China is likely to
end the fiscal year with a cutoff date between June and September 2003.
Mexico should be between January and June 2004, and India is projected as
reaching January or February 2002.
Possible EB2 Filing Options
Regularly, we at the Murthy Law
Firm are contacted by individuals considering upgrading their cases from
earlier EB3 approvals to new EB2 cases, especially as their positions and
job duties have become more complex over the past several years. Such
individuals hopes to transfer the earlier PD from the earlier EB3 to the
new EB2 filing. For cases like this, when possible, our firm is happy to
help with the new PERM and I-140 filing, while keeping the previously
filed I-485 and interfiling the new EB2 approval for the green card
Many applicants for the green card anxiously
await the Visa Bulletin each month, and the Murthy Law Firm get many
requests for predictions of cutoff date movement. The January 2010 Visa
Bulletin predictions and explanations of the complex issue of visa numbers
and priority dates or cutoff dates is helpful for planning purposes. We
are always happy to share useful information on the Visa Bulletin with our
MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers.
About The Author
Sheela Murthy, et al., attorneys from the Murthy Law Firm attorneys from the Murthy Law Firm, has represented clients located around the world in all aspects of U.S. immigration. Attorney Sheela Murthy and her team of legal professionals handle cases for Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized and small companies, as well as individuals undergoing the U.S. immigration process.
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.
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