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Good News for Family-Based Immigration Priority Dates!

October 2010
Good News for Family-Based Immigration Priority Dates! The United States limits the number of people who can immigrate permanently each year. The family-based cutoff dates are established each month in the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin, which is listed below.

Many of the FB categories have waiting times that are measured in years, and sometimes more than a decade. However, in some categories, particularly FB2A for spouses and minor children of U.S. permanent residents, the anticipated demand has turned out to be far less than the real demand for visa numbers. For reasons that are not entirely clear, many people with such cases are not moving forward and pursuing permanent residency on that basis. As a result, the DOS has moved the cutoff dates in FB2A forward by more than four years this fiscal year (2010) for all countries.

The cutoff date for FB2A India, China, the Philippines, as well as the category for all chargeability areas except those listed, jumped from June 1, 2005 in the October 2009 Visa Bulletin to January 1, 2010 in the September 2010 Visa Bulletin. Mexico moved from March 1, 2003 to January 1, 2009 in the same timeframe. Typically, the movement in this category is very slow.

Family-Based, Second Preference for Adult Unmarried Children of GC Holders

FB2B continues to be backlogged, but also saw remarkable movement this fiscal year. The cutoff dates for India, China, and all chargeability areas except those listed advanced from August 22, 2001 to January 1, 2005 during the 2010 fiscal year.

Family-Based, First Preference for Adult Unmarried Children of U.S. Citizens

The FB1 category for adult, unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens has also advanced by several years for most chargeability areas. India, China, and all chargeability areas except those listed had July 22, 2003 cutoff dates at the start of fiscal year 2010, in the October 2009 Visa Bulletin. As of the end of this fiscal year, in the September 2010 Visa Bulletin, the FB1 cutoff dates for those countries is now January 1, 2006.

Other Family-Based Categories

Other categories and countries also advanced, although most did to a lesser degree.
Individuals should check the visa bulletin and monitor the cutoff dates each month for more information on the cutoff date in any particular FB category.

If the cutoff date is current or close to current for an FB case that you have filed, or which has been filed on your behalf by a family member, discuss your options with a qualified immigration attorney. Some individuals in the United States will be able to move forward with their adjustment-of-status (I-485) cases. Others will be eligible to process immigrant visas at the appropriate U.S. consulates outside the United States. It is important to gather documents that may be needed to establish the required family relationship, as well as one's eligibility for either adjustment of status or consular processing.

Current H1-B Cap Count as of August 27, 2010
Regular cap limit: 65,000
Regular cap cases filed: approx. 34,900
Advanced degree cap limit: 20,000
Advanced degree cap cases filed: approx. 13,000


FAMILY                    India                                    Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st                        15Feb06                                              15Feb06

2A                               01Apr10                                              01Apr10         

2B                               01Apr05                                              01Apr05

3rd                              01May02                                             01May02        

4th                               01Dec01                                              01Dec01

EMPLOYMENT      India                                     Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st                         Current                                                Current

2nd                      08May06                                             Current

3rd                              15Jan02                                               08Jan05

Other                          15Jan02                                               22Mar03

4th                               Current                                                Current

5th                               Current                                                Current

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