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Green Cards

March Visa Bulletin

During this season where it seems like bad news is the order of the day, the Department of State (DOS) released the March Visa Bulletin and also made some very positive predictions for movement in the coming months. For example, the DOS predicted that we could see a movement of 1 month per month for the India EB2 category, up to the 3 months for the all other EB3 category, and up to 6 months each month for the EB3 Philippines category. They also indicated that EB2 would remain current for all other countries.

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Green Cards

November Visa Bulletin

The Department of State (DOS) has released the November Visa Bulletin. There was no change in the “dates for filing chart”. The “final action date” chart saw significant movement in the India and PRC EB2 categories and in the Philippines EB3 category.

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Green Cards

PERM stats

The DOL has released updated PERM stats which reveal some interesting tidbits. The number of PERM applications received this year over the same time period in FY 2014 is up over 25%. Of cases where a decision has been reached, less than 10% have been denied. Over 30% of cases are currently in audit review and almost 10% of cases are pending an appeal. Although it seems like everyone claims to have been filed under EB2, almost 50% of cases were filed under EB3 standards.

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Green Cards

September Visa Bulletin

The DOS has released the September Visa Bulletin, and as is typical for the last bulletin of the fiscal year, most categories saw no movement however, EB2 India and EB3 Philippines saw forward jumps. There is great anticipation for the October Bulletin to see if India EB2 holds its ground or retrogresses.

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Green Cards

September Visa Bulletin :)

The Department of State today released the September Visa Bulletin and it made a lot of people happy. For example, EB3 for all other countries and for China jumped 18 months, while India EB3 moved 9 months. Movement of this type has not been seen in EB3 since Lincoln was in the White House. The DOS indicated that this rapid forward movement was due to a lack of the expected demand however, they did predict that further forward movement over the next few months was unlikely.

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Events

Thanks to attendees

A special thanks to those of you who attended our IT and healthcare staffing seminar in Newark, NJ on Fri. We appreciate your attendance and participation in a lively discussion about the Neufeld memo, EB2 programs, L-1b’s, RFE’s, retrogression, HR 3012, and a variety of compliance related topics. We look forward to seeing you again next year at the same place !

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Green Cards

August Visa bulletin released !

The DOS has released the August 2012 Visa Bulletin  As expected, the EB2 category remained unchanged. Unfortunately, the EB3 category slowed to a virtual crawl. The Philippines EB3 category only moved forward 1 week. It is expected that the September bulletin will contain similar bad news however, we expect the October bulletin to bring us smiles again !

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Green Cards

June Visa bulletin contains no surprises

As expected, the June Visa Bulletin, recently released by the Department of State, made EB2 for India and China unavailable. All EB3 categories continued their snail-like pace forward. There was also a warning that cut-off dates for the EB1 category and the EB2 category for all other countries may be necessary before the end of this fiscal year.

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Green Cards

EB2 Dates have already retrogressed :(

We knew it was too good to last and finally, the announcement has come. The DOS has confirmed that as of March 23rd, all available EB2 numbers for India and China for the current fiscal year have been exhausted. I-485 applications may continue to be filed as long as your priority date is current pursuant to the April Visa Bulletin and EAD and Advance Parole applications will continue to be processed however, cases can not be approved and permanent residency can not be granted until visa numbers are once again available. The DOS previously announced that the priority dates would retrogress to August 15, 2007 effective May 1st. As a practical matter, for purposes of adjudication (approval), the priority date has already retrogressed to Aug 15, 2007 however, for purposes of filing, the priority date will remain May 1, 2010. For many people, there remain several advantages to filing your 485 even though it can’t be adjudicated including: issuance of EAD cards for yourself and family members, issuance of advance parole travel documents for yourself and family members, flexibility afforded under AC21, elimination of the reliance on an H-1b visa and avoid the need for the ordeal of visa stamping. For IT staffing companies, there is a great incentive to encourage employees to process 485’s because in most cases, it eliminates the need for an H-1b and all of the restrictions and costs that accompany it. The DOS has published a nice document explaining how the allocation system and priority dates work in case you are curious.

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Green Cards

April Visa Bulletin Released

The DOS has released the April Visa Bulletin and unfortunately, the movement of EB2 dates for Indian and Chinese nationals halted with dates remaining the same as the March bulletin. Historically, a month where dates remain constant indicates that the DOS may have enough demand to utilize all available immigrant visas for a fiscal year and it would not be surprising if the date stayed at May 1, 2010 or retrogressed.  The EB3 category continued its all too familiar pattern of inching forward.