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Update for Employers on the Availability of EB-2 and EB-3 Visas

July 2012

By: Ryan M. Hegelson, Esq.

In June, the United States Visa Office offered predictions on visa demand for the employment-based visa preference categories. Currently, visas are unavailable for the second (EB-2) and third (EB-3) preference categories for people born in India or Mainland China. Generally, EB-2 visas are reserved for individuals who have an advanced degree, while EB-3 visas are for skilled workers and professionals (those with associates or bachelors degrees, respectively).

The Visa Office indicated that in October 2012 (the beginning of the 2013 fiscal year), the EB-2 cut-off dates will move to August or September 2007. Further, the cut-offs dates are unlikely to move during the first two quarters of FY 2013. The Visa Office stated that their goal is to use approximately 13,500 of the total available EB visas each quarter. Because of last year's drastic retrogression of dates, USCIS already has more than 17,000 waiting for the start of the coming fiscal year.

What this means is that applicants for adjustment of status from Mainland China or India can expect to wait additional years for final adjudication of their I-485s. It is imperative that these individuals maintain lawful status during the entire pendency of their I-485 and, particularly, do not engage in unauthorized employment. Employers should therefore renew their employees' H-1B and L-1 visas, as necessary.

If you have questions regarding employment-based green card applications or any other employment immigration question, please contact Attorney Ryan Helgeson at 630.377.1554 or at [email protected].