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March 2012 Employment Based Visa Bulletin

The Department of State released the latest visa bulletin for March 2012 on February 8, 2012.

For the month of March 2012, the EB-1 category was still current for nationals all over the world. In EB-2 category, the cut-off dates moves forward from January 1, 2010 to May 1, 2010 both for Chinese Mainland nationals and Indian nationals. In the EB-3 category, the cut-off dates moved forward from December 1, 2004 to January 1, 2005 for Chinese Mainland nationals while the cut-off dates moved forward from August 15, 2002 to August 22, 2002 for Indian nationals.

For the recently popular EB-5 investment immigration, the visa number now is still current world wide even though more people are submitting their applications.

Again, before you start the application process, it is imperative that you consult with a highly trained legal professional, particularly since USCIS has become stricter with EB-1 applications after a memo was released on August 18, 2010. In essence, the USCIS memo breaks the EB-1 evaluation process up into two parts: 1) Evaluating whether the applicant meets the baseline criteria for the immigration category and 2) determining whether the applicant’s evidence demonstrates the required high level of expertise for the immigration category. In the second part of the review process the USCIS will evaluate the evidence to see if, as a whole, it proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the applicant is at the very top of his or her field of endeavour.

In addition, American Immigration Lawyers Association released an article regarding employment-based visas on January 23, 2012. According to this article, the two AILA committee members discussed the visa bulletin, potential visa demand, and other predictions for FY 2012 with Mr. Oppenheim of the Visa Office of the Department of State on January 19, 2012. Mr. Oppenheim predicted that the EB-2 cut-off dates would probably be held over the summer, and subsequently retrogress or advance if needed.

Based on his prediction mentioned above, we recommend that you file your NIW petition as soon as possible if you are qualified for a NIW. In doing so, you would also have an earlier priority date. Previously, some people thought a NIW was not worthy since backlog time had been very long. However, we always encourage our clients to file a NIW petition if they are qualified. For the year of 2008, our firm received 402 NIW approvals. For the year of 2009, our firm received 430 NIW approvals. For the year of 2010, our firm received 223 NIW approvals. For the year of 2011, our firm received 286 NIW approvals.

With USCIS’ stricter policy with EB-1 applications and EB-2 advancement in recent months, a NIW has become a better option. We predict that EB-2 backlog time will be one and a half years in several years to come.

If you are interested in filing a NIW but not sure if you are qualified, please contact Attorney Jerry Zhang at He will provide you with a free evaluation.

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 fifteen 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 ( for a free evaluation.

Zhang & Associates, PC.

Silicon Valley • New York • Los Angeles • Chicago • Houston • Austin

Tel: 1-800-230-7040, 713-771-8433