How to Deal with Visa Backlog: Patience and Efforts
The Department of State released the latest Visa Bulletin for July 2009 on June 9, 2009. The cut-off dates for EB-2 applicants born in mainland China move backward more than four years to January 1, 2000 while the dates for Eb-2 applicants born in India remain unchanged as January 1, 2000. EB-1 remains immediately available. EB-3 remains unavailable.
The famous scholar, preacher, and Egyptian Supreme Court lawyer, Adel Bestavros once said “Patience with self is hope; Patience with others is love; Patience with God is faith”. At Zhang & Associates, P.C. we also believe that “Patience with Visa Backlog is NIW and EB-1!”
Currently, visa numbers are available worldwide for aliens who seek to apply under the First Preference in Employment-Based Immigration category, also known as EB-1. This fact is especially relevant for individuals born in China and India, as these countries are currently facing a backlog on visa number availability in other categories. While this option can be a fast-track option in comparison to the categories that are currently in visa number availability backlog, such as EB-2 and NIW, individuals who apply for EB-1 are by no means exempt from the ever-important need for patience.
The EB-1 category is composed of subcategory EB-1(A) for Persons of Extraordinary Ability in sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, and EB-1(B) for an Outstanding Professor or Researcher. The fact that visa numbers are currently available worldwide in this category is explained by the extremely high standard of achievements necessary to qualify. Because of the stringent threshold an alien has to meet for EB-1(A) there are less individuals who qualify, henceforth, there is less competition for the allotted number of visas. Therefore, although the petitioning process under EB-1(A) is shorter because of the current visa number availability, the time it can take an individual to attain the level of sustained acclaim and excellence in their field required to satisfy the EB-1(A) requirements necessitates a great deal of focus, patience, aptitude, and achievement.
In light of the extensive requirements for EB-1(A) many hopeful petitioners from countries like India and China with a backlog on visa number availability find themselves in a difficult situation. If you do not currently meet the criteria for the EB-1(A) category, it is a good idea to file a National Interest Waiver now while improving upon your credentials and achievements for EB-1(A) considerations. This strategy works especially well for individuals from China and India in that it allows you to maximize your time by entering the queue for visa number availability (as an NIW applicant) while gaining the prestige necessary to successfully file your petition under a sub-category with more readily available visa numbers, such as EB-1(A).
A similar complication arises from the fact that EB-1(B) requirements mandate that an alien hold a permanent job offer as a professor or researcher, and necessitates employer sponsorship of the petition. Clearly, obtaining a minimum of three years of professional experience, international acclaim, and a permanent job offer is a time consuming venture that requires a prospective alien to exercise patience, in addition to expertise in their chosen field. However, by continuing to work towards the recognition, qualifications, and employer sponsorship necessary to be an EB-1(B) Outstanding Researcher or Professor, an individual stands to gain in many ways, including potential visa number availability benefits in the future.
As we near the fourth quarter of the 2009 fiscal year, naturally, the availability of visa numbers is decreased. The EB-1 category may see visa number retrogression for individuals born in India and China as the annual 2,800 visa numbers allotted near exhaustion towards the close of the fiscal year. However, at the opening of the new fiscal year, on October 1st, 2009, the full quota (2,800) visa numbers will be once again newly available in EB-2 for Chinese or Indians. Even in the case of a short backlog, the EB-1 category still provides a faster alternative to other categories, some of which currently have up to 5 years or more of visa number retrogression.
From the wise words of Adel Bestavros, we see that patience can bring us hope, love, and faith. Patience is also a virtue that can help us study, achieve, prepare, and plan for successful immigration petitions.
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