The October 2012 Visa Bulletin, released today, is sure to send shock waves throughout the Indian and Chinese immigrant communities. Now, more than ever, it is important for all foreign nationals to be aware of any possible alternatives to the seemingly never-ending green card line. Below is a summary of the most important parts of the Visa Bulletin, and the complete text can be accessed here: http://travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_5770.html.
1) EB-2 India and China: Both countries made some movement, but not nearly as much as had been expected. India moved from “Unavailable” to September 01, 2004, while China moved from “Unavailable” to July 15, 2007. This will come as a huge disappointment to advanced degree holders from both countries waiting patiently for their immigrant visas, but fortunately there are still some options available:
a) Individuals with potential EB-1 (extraordinary ability) cases should strongly consider that route, as there is no wait for nationals of any country in that category.
b) The EB-5 category for investments of $500,000 in U.S. enterprises is ever more an attractive option for all wealthy immigrants and families.
c) Nationals from India and China should vigorously appeal to their congressmen for passage of the Fairness for High-skilled Immigrants Act (H.R. 3012), which would eliminate the country-specific limitations on employment-based green cards and end this form of discrimination based on national origin. (See http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/07/22/high-skilled-immigration-restrictions-are-economically-senseless/ for a brief analysis the bill and how the current distribution scheme for employment-based immigrant visas is “economically senseless”)
2) EB-2 worldwide: After the significant retrogression experienced over the summer, the EB-2 worldwide category has jumped forward to January 01, 2012. This is welcome news to those with priority dates in 2009, 2010, and 2011 who had been unable to adjust status for the past several months, but it means that those with recently approved or soon-to-be filed I-140 petitions in this category will still have some waiting to do.
3) EB-3: Very small forward steps were made in the EB-3 category for all countries other than the Philippines, which remained the same.