US July visa bulletin – Apply for EB-2 visa application by 29 June!

If you have an US EB-2 employment based petition with a priority date later than 1 January 2009 and are not from China or India then you should file your adjustment of status visa application or consular processing visa application by Friday 29 June 2012. The US Department of State (DOS) has just released the July 2012 visa bulletin stating that from 1 July 2012 the employment-based EB-2 immigrant visa priority cutoff date will move back to January 1, 2009 for all countries except India and China. The situation for people from India and China is even worse. The EB-2 priority cutoff dates for India and China are unavailable for the current fiscal year meaning no new visas will be issued to EB-2 applicants from India or China until after fiscal year 2013 begins on October 1, 2012.

However, even when visas become available for applicants from China and India in the next fiscal year, the cutoff date will be different than for other countries. It is likely that only Chinese and Indian applicants who have a priority date from many years ago will be able to have their visas processed.

What is a priority cutoff date?

Employment based immigration priority cutoff dates determine when a foreign national will be able to file their Adjustment of Status (AOS) applications or application at the US Embassy or Consulate and apply for their green card. The priority date refers to the date an application is initially filed in the green card process; For employment based petitions this is when the labor certification application is filed or in some limited cases when the immigration preference petition I-140 is filed. The US will begin processing a green card application if your priority date is earlier than the cutoff date listed in the most recent Visa Bulletin.

The DOS publishes a monthly visa bulletin that lists the cutoff dates for different immigration categories and countries. Only immigrants with priority dates before the cutoff date are permitted to file their visa applications and apply for their green card.

Therefore, applicants from countries other than India and China, who have a priority cutoff date of January 01, 2009 or later, will need to file for AOS or visa processing at an Embassy or Consulate before June 30, 2012. This is because the July 2012 visa bulletin goes into effect July 1, 2012. If you do not apply before then, you will have to wait for a suitable cut off date before you can file your visa application; This is a cut off date after your priority date.

The EB-2 visa is available to applicants who have an advanced degree or its equivalent with an approved PERM labor certification, or a foreign national who has exceptional ability. Additionally, foreign workers who can show that their activities will substantially benefit the US national interest may be eligible for the EB-2 visa.

Priority cutoff dates for other countries

While for the EB-3 category the cutoff dates for professionals and skilled workers did advance, it may still take many years for your application to be processed. You will see below that the latest cut off date is about six years ago.

The EB-3 visa is an employment-based visa with three categories available:
  • Skilled workers: people whose job requires a minimum of 2 years training or work experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature
  • Professionals: people whose job requires at least a US baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent and are a member of the professions
  • Other workers: people performing unskilled labor requiring less than 2 years training or: experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature.
In the EB-3 professional and skilled workers category the priority cutoff dates advanced:
  • China's date advanced from August 08, 2005 to September 22, 2005
  • India's date advanced from September 15, 2002 to September 22, 2002
  • The Philippines date advanced from May 22, 2006 to June 8, 2006
  • All other countries dates advanced from June 8, 2006 to July 22, 2006
In the EB-3 Other Workers category, the priority cutoff dates also advanced:
  • China's date advanced from April 22, 2003 to June 15, 2003
  • India's date advanced from September 15, 2002 to September 22, 2002
  • The Philippines date advanced from May 22, 2006 to June 8, 2006
  • All other countries dates advanced from June 8, 2006 to July 22, 2006
If you have any further questions about how employment based immigration priority cutoff dates work, you can consult our previous news report detailing DOS' procedures in processing EB-2 applications.

If you would like to apply for a US visa, WorkPermit.com can help. WorkPermit.com is a specialist visa consultancy with nearly twenty-five years of experience dealing with visa applications. We can help with a wide range of visa applications to your country of choice. Please feel free to contact us for further details.