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December 2009 Employment Based Visa Bulletin
The Department of State has just released the new visa bulletin for December 2009 on November 11, 2009.
Last month, cut-off dates in the EB-2 category moved forward ten days to April 1, 2005 for mainland Chinese nationals and remained unchanged from last month for Indian nationals (January 22, 2005) . The EB-1 category last month stayed current.
Based on the December 2009 visa bulletin, the EB-2 category for both mainland Chinese nationals and Indian nationals remained the same from the November visa bulletin. As expected this month, the EB-1 category for both Chinese and Indian nationals remained current. The only change from November was in the EB-3 category. Cut-off dates moved forward nine days from April 22, 2001 to May 1, 2001 for Indian nationals and did not change for mainland Chinese nationals.
Cut-off dates have not changed or have only slightly changed in the EB-2 and EB-3 categories for Indian nationals and mainland Chinese nationals partly because USCIS has a large number of applications to review, and partly because visa numbers allotted to those two countries are limited. These two categories are notoriously backlogged or unavailable year-round. Eight months into the last fiscal year (FY 2008), the EB-3 category became unavailable. We believe that one or both of these categories could become unavailable once again as the year progresses. Furthermore, as October 2009 marked the start of the new fiscal year, perhaps the prospect of newly available visa numbers encouraged a large number of applicants to submit I-140 petitions. We hope that with the recent implementation of new protocol at USCIS, visa backlogging will not be as much of an issue this year as it has been in the past.
Unfortunately right now, visa backlogging poses a huge dilemma to certain applicants. As such, we highly encourage those who qualify or think that they might qualify, to submit an EB-1 application. From August to October 2009, we received 55 EB-1 approvals, 34 EB-1(a) and 21 EB-1(b). Because visa numbers are current in the EB-1 category, this ensures that an applicant’s petition will be processed in a reasonable amount of time. In addition, if you are a particularly strong EB-1(a) candidate, you have the option of electing premium processing, which guarantees a decision on your application within 15 business days.
We have worked with many clients who have retained us for an NIW, and then later decide that they want to also submit an EB-1 application as well after receiving NIW approval. By doing so, applicants are able to save themselves a spot in “line” for a visa number. This type of approach works particularly well for applicants who qualify for an NIW at the time they submit an application, but not for an EB-1. The benefits of this are two-fold. First, as mentioned earlier, it saves you a place in “line” in the event that a visa number becomes available. Second, it buys you more time to improve upon your credentials if you want to file an EB-1 application, which could be approved well before a visa number becomes available in the EB-2 category. If you are unsure, you should definitely consult one of our experienced attorneys. We will present all of the avenues and strategies available to you.
In large part, cut-off dates affect what type of application an alien should apply for, especially in light of the heavy backlogging in the EB-2 and EB-3 categories for mainland Chinese and Indian nationals. Furthermore, these cut-off dates to some extent influence what strategy to employ in the journey towards obtaining a green card. As such, if you have interest in becoming a permanent resident of the United States, it is highly suggested that you consult a legal professional at Zhang and Associates, P.C. to craft a strategic plan that is right for you.
Here at Zhang and Associates, P.C., we strive to give our clients personally tailored services to fit their specific immigration needs. In our field, “patience is visa backlog”. Of course, with a dedicated and skilled legal team on your side, we will do our best to make your immigration goals a reality.
Founded in 1996, Zhang & Associates, P.C. offers legal services to clients nationwide in all aspects of U.S immigration law. We have successfully handled thousands of immigration cases.
At Zhang & Associates, P.C., our attorneys and supporting professionals are committed to providing high-quality immigration and non-immigration visa services. We specialize in NIW, EB-1, PERM, and I-485 cases. In the past thirteen years, we have successfully helped thousands of clients get green cards. If you plan to apply for a green card, please send your CV to Attorney Jerry Zhang (email@example.com) for a free evaluation.
Zhang & Associates, PC.
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