After months of steadily moving forward the priority date for the Employment-based Second preference category (“EB-2”) for foreign nationals chargeable to India, in the October 2014 Visa Bulletin the Department of State (“DOS”) has stated that the EB-2 India priority date will retrogress to 2005 as early as on November 1, 2014. Any Indian national with a “current” priority date for the EB-2 category is therefore encouraged to immediately file their I-485 Adjustment of Status application.
Additionally, officials within the DOS have told the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) that the maximum number of Indian EB-2 immigrant visas for the current government fiscal year (running to September 30, 2014) has been reached. Therefore, the DOS will not be allocating any new immigrant visas for EB-2 Indian nationals until October 1, 2014, which is the start of the next government fiscal year. However, the Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”) has stated that it will continue to accept filings with a current priority date – presumably through the end of October. In addition, pending I-485 Adjustment of Status application and new applications filed during the month of September will be held until October 1, 2014, at which time they will begin to be processed. As a result, Indian nationals should not delay their filing due to the unavailability of Immigrant Visas.
What this all means for the next 6 weeks is not clear. There are a number of pending I-485 Adjustment of Status applications filed by Indian nationals with current priority dates. We expect that some number of these pending cases will be approved when visa numbers again become available for a short period of time on October 1st. How many will be processed and approved within this short window of time cannot now be determined.
Feel free to contact any member of our Immigration Law Group with any questions.