February 2012 Visa Bulletin: Cut-off date for people born in India and China will Jump to Jan/2010

Victoria Chen, J.D., Esq.


The January Visa Bulletin shows that the cut-off dates for the India and China Employment-Based, second preference (EB-2) category rapidly moved forward by “nearly 10 months, to January 1, 2009.  Now, Chen Immigration Law Associates wants to share the good news of a further advancement in the cut-off date.  The February 2012 Visa Bulletin reports that the cut-off date for those born in India and China applying under EB-2 is now January 1, 2010.


What does the Cut-off Date Mean?


The cut-off date on the visa bulletin indicates when people may file I-485 to change their immigration status or to apply for a green card via consular processing. Only those whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date can adjust immigration status or apply for a green card.


When is my Priority Date?


The priority date is the date the USCIS receives your I-140 application (for the categories where a labor certification is not required) or the date the DOL (Department of Labor) receives the PERM application (for the categories where a labor certification is required). We at Chen Immigration Law Associates does E-filing for all I-140 cases and therefore the priority date is the date we E-file the cases.


What Should I do to Benefit from the Rapid-moving Cut-off Date under EB-2?


The EB-2 category has excessive demand and therefore has been regarded as oversubscribed.  Until recently, the cut-off date can be 3 or 4 years after an EB-2 approval and therefore it makes people born in India and China hesitant to apply for EB-2 NIW even if they are qualified.


However, because the cut-off date has been rapidly moving forward, we at Chen Immigration Law Associates now encourage that perspective applicants apply now as self-petitioners for a National Interest Waiver in order to secure an earlier priority date.  Applying for this category is an applicant’s best option as other categories, such as EB-1A, have extremely high standards to meet qualifications while others require job sponsorship.  The earlier petitioners apply for EB-2 second preference, the better the chance of receiving an earlier priority date, and the faster petitioners/beneficiaries can get their immigration status changed to that of the permanent resident.

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