VISA BULLETIN UPDATE: EB2 INDIA AND CHINA MAY MOVE TO 2006 CUT-OFF

by Foster LLP
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1. VISA BULLETIN UPDATE: EB2 INDIA AND CHINA MAY MOVE TO 2006 CUT-OFF

2. VISA APPOINTMENT SYSTEM CHANGES AT U.S. CONSULATES IN INDIA

1. VISA BULLETIN UPDATE: EB2 INDIA AND CHINA MAY MOVE TO 2006 CUT-OFF

Last week the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Office, which projects immigrant visa availability under the annual immigrant quota system in accordance with immigrant application demand trends, announced that the Employment-Based, First Preference (EB-1) immigrant visa category could temporarily “close” to new applications and approvals later this month. This unusual move would be short-term, with the category to reopen on October 1, 2012, the beginning of the next fiscal year.

The Visa Office also indicated that the Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB-2) immigrant category for applicants born in India would likely see backlogs in excess of prior predictions for the new fiscal year. Rather than returning to a “cut-off date” in 2007 on October 1, 2012, the likely cut-off date would be in 2006. The EB-2 category for India would be expected to remain in 2006 for several months or more.

The temporary retrogression in visa availability under the EB-2 category for persons not born in India or China should ease with the new fiscal year, possibly returning to current in October, or to a cut-off date of early 2012 before returning to current in November.

Later this week, the Department of State expects to release the October 2012 Visa Bulletin. Additional updates on immigrant visa availability will be made available via our firm’s website and in future Immigration Update© bulletins.

2. VISA APPOINTMENT SYSTEM CHANGES AT U.S. CONSULATES IN INDIA

The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi has recently announced the implementation of a new system for visa application and issuance at U.S. consular posts throughout India.

The new system offers additional fee payment options, additional appointment scheduling options, and the opportunity for applicants to speak with a representative over the telephone or to initiate a live chat session to ask questions.

Unfortunately, the new system will require applicants to schedule two appointments – one for the provision of biometric data (digital fingerprints and photographs) at an Offsite Facilitation Center, and one for the visa interview at the consulate. Those applicants who are eligible for a waiver of the in-person interview would not be required to appear at the embassy or consulate.

Because individuals who must appear for a consular interview will be required to schedule and attend two appointments, applicants should plan ahead for their visa applications and should schedule appointments at the earliest opportunity in advance of travel to the United States.

As always FosterQuan will continue to monitor changes in visa application procedures and will provide additional information in future Immigration Updates©, and on our firm’s website at www.fosterquan.com.

Prepared By FosterQuan, LLP

© FosterQuan, LLP

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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