Movement in Visa Number Availability
Every month U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides a visa bulletin indicating the availability of immigrant numbers during that specific month. Since each visa category has a numerical limitation, this bulletin provides Consular officers the priority date for the qualified applicants. Only applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date may be allotted a number to possibly receive their permanent residence (green card) status.
As of August 1, 2013, the visa numbers for certain categories have jumped a few years since July’s bulletin thus making a major number of applicants now available to pursue their green cards.
The first category which showed significant movement is the family-based F2A category. This category is for current Permanent Residents of the U.S. who have petitioned for their spouse and/or minor child (unmarried, child under 21). In July, the F2A category was only available to those with a priority date of either October or September 2011 (depending on the country) . Beginning August 1st, the F2A category is current, meaning visa numbers are available to all qualified applicants.
The other category which showed impressive movement is the employment-based 2nd preference category for nationals of India . In July, the EB-2nd was processing cases with a priority date of September 1, 2004. Beginning August 1st, Indian nationals with a priority date prior to January 1, 2008 will be eligible to pursue their green card applications. For some EB-2nd applicants, their green card application has already been filed. Many applicants were able to file their applications a year or so ago but then numbers retrogressed and their applications have been sitting at a USCIS Service Center. For those applicants who are once again eligible, the Service Center will automatically resume the processing of their case. However, applicants should NOT expect immediate results or notification. When visa numbers jump so far in advance, it takes some time for USCIS to process all those who are now qualified.
Also, applicants whose case might have been stalled due to the visa numbers retrogression should expect to provide more recent documents. USCIS may request the applicant to provide recent photographs, new medical exams, and proof of continued employment to name a few.
If your case is now eligible for processing or you would like to file on your relative’s behalf, please contact us today.