Labor Day Updates on Visa Retrogression and the DV Lottery
August 29, 2007
As we get ready for the Labor Day weekend, we provide updates on visa retrogression, including anticipated priority dates to become current in October, and the annual Diversity (Green Card) Lottery.
Visa Retrogression. The government reports that it received close to 300,000 adjustment applications this summer. With only 140,000 employment-based permanent visas available each fiscal year, we earlier advised that we may expect slow movement in permanent visa availability when the government's new fiscal year begins October 1, 2007. This means that many applicants will have adjustment applications pending for many years, although they and their spouses should remain eligible for continued work authorization and ability to travel pending the final adjudication of the application packages. It is not clear how quickly the government will be able to process pending applications when they become current for a particular month. Priority dates must be current as of the date of final adjudication.
Anticipated October Visa Bulletin. The U.S. Department of State recently related that when it publishes the October 2007 Visa Bulletin around mid-September, it anticipates that priority dates which will become "current" for EB-1 First Preference and EB-2 second preference categories should be as follows:
EB-1 for all nationalities: January 1, 2007.
EB-2 worldwide: January 2007; EB-2 Chinese nationals: January 2006; EB-2 Indian nationals: April 2004.
EB-3 worldwide: August 2002; EB-3 Chinese nationals: August 1 2002; EB-3 Indian nationals: May 8, 2001.
Diversity Lottery. The Department of State also just announced the registration period for the 2009 Diversity Visa Lottery (DV-2009). The registration period for this program begins at noon EDT on October 3, 2007 and ends at noon EST on December 4, 2007.
We hope that this information is helpful. Please stay tuned for further clarification the State Department publishes the October Bulletin and releases instructions regarding DV-2009's qualifying countries and application requirements.