Visa bulletin for December 2010

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Michael Phulwani is a prominent attorney admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey and India. He practices immigration and nationality laws and visa matters in the USA and abroad. He is a frequent lecturer on immigration laws and co-hosts several TV and radio programs on immigration. In this column, Phulwani will discuss frequent problems relating to immigration legislation and answer questions from our readers. All questions should be forwarded to Michael Phulwani, 888 Maywood Avenue, Maywood, NJ 07607.

By Michael Phulwani

The following information is provided by the Visa Office regarding the cut-off dates for the month of December 2010.

Family preferences

F1-Family first preference: Unmarried sons and daughters over the age of 21 years of US citizens. The cut-off date has not moved at all and remains the same for most of the countries, including India at February 15, 2006.

F2A – Family second preference: Spouses and minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters of permanent residents. The cut-off date has moved forward by two (2) months for most countries, including India to August 1, 2010.

F2B-Family second preference: Unmarried sons and daughters over 21 of permanent residents. The cut-off date has not moved at all and remains the same for most of the countries, including India at June 1, 2005.

F3-Family third preference: Married sons and daughters of US citizens and their spouses and children. The cut-off date has not moved at all and remains the same for most of the countries, including India at June 1, 2002.

F4-Family fourth preference: Brothers and sisters of US citizens. The cut-off date has not moved at all and remains the same for most of the countries, including India at January 1, 2002.

Employment preferences

EB1-Priority workers: The cut-off date for this category for all countries, including India is current.

EB2-Advanced degree holders: The cut-off date for this category for most countries is current and for India it has not moved and remains the same at May 8, 2006.

EB3 – Professional skilled workers: The cut-off date for this category has moved forward by four (4) weeks to February 22, 2005 for most of the countries, and for India it has not moved at all and remains the same at January 22, 2002.

EB3 – Other workers: The cut-off date for this category has moved forward by three (3) weeks to April 22, 2003 for most of the countries, and for India it has not moved at all and remains the same at January 22, 2002.

EB4 (certain special immigrants), EB4 (certain religious workers), EB5 (targeted employment programs) & EB5 (pilot programs) is current for all countries, including India.

Visa availability in the

coming months

Family-sponsored: From early 2009 through Septem-ber 2010, the level of demand for numbers in the Family-sponsored preference categories was very low. As a result, the cut-off dates for most Family preference categories were advanced at a very rapid pace, in an attempt to generate demand so that the annual numerical limits could be fully utilized. As readers were advised in previous Visa bulletins providing projections of visa availability (e.g., April 2009, January 2010, May 2010, and July 2010), such cut-off date advances could not continue indefinitely, and at some point they could slow, stop,    or in some cases retrogress.

The level of demand, which has been experienced during FY-2011 has resulted in most of the worldwide cut-off dates being held for the month of December. At this time it is not possible to predict when or if these dates may advance further, and there is a distinct possibility that retrogressions could occur as early as January if demand within the established cut-off dates does not appear to be subsiding.

Employment-based: At this time it is unlikely that there will be any cut-off dates in the Employment First preference during the coming months. It also appears unlikely that it will be necessary to establish a cut-off date other than those already in effect for the Second preference category. Cut-off dates continue to apply to the China and India second preference categories due to heavy demand.

Based on  current  indications of demand, the best case scenarios for cut-off date movement each month during the coming months are as follows:

Employment second preferences:

India: no movement

Employment third preferences:

World-wide: three to six weeks.

India: none to two weeks

Please be advised that the above ranges are estimates based upon the current demand patterns, and are subject to fluctuations during the coming months. The cut-off dates for upcoming months cannot be guaranteed, and no assumptions should be made until the formal dates are announced.

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