February 2011 Visa Bulletin
January 12, 2011
The State Department's recently posted February Visa Bulletin shows very little movement in priority dates –– just two months in the EB-3 category for Chinese and Filipino nationals but no movement for Indian or Mexican nationals.
A foreign national seeking to a permanent visa must have a current priority date before the government will issue the visa. Further, the government must confirm that the foreign national's priority date is current at the time the foreign national applies for the permanent visa before it may accept the application for processing. Visa availability may change from month to month, moving forwards, or backwards, as the State Department tabulates and tracks the number of permanent visas issued and to ensure that no more visas are granted each year than allowed under certain quotas. As a result, the monthly Visa Bulletin is an important strategic planning tool for foreign nationals in the permanent immigration process.
For February, all nationalities remain current in the EB-1 category. In the EB-2 category, priority dates did not advance at all for Chinese and Indian nationals (current priority dates for February are May 1, 2005, and January 22, 2005, respectively.) All other nationalities remain current in the EB-2 category. In the EB-3 category, visas are available for Chinese and Filipino nationals with priority dates of September 22, 2002 and before; for Indian nationals with priority dates of June 22, 2001 and before; and for Mexican nationals with priority dates of July 1, 2002 and before. Nationals of all other countries in the EB-3 category must have priority dates of September 22, 2002 or before for visa availability.
Stay tuned for our evaluation of the next visa bulletin when it is released around early/mid February. We continue to advise our clients if visa movement impacts their cases.