Impact of Advancement of the Employment-Based Second Preference Numbers for China and India...

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The U.S. State Department has indicated that due to the low demand this year for immigrant visas in the employment-based First Preference (EB-1) category (for persons of extraordinary ability, outstanding researchers or professors, and multinational managers and executives), unused immigrant visas will flow down into the Second Preference Immigrant Visa (EB-2) category which will be used to advance the backlogged EB-2 categories for China and India. The Second Preference category is for persons filling positions that require either an advanced degree or a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of experience. Presently there is a large volume of pending I-485 applications in the backlogged China and India Second Preference categories because in the summer of 2007, for a 30- day period, both the EB-2 and EB-3 categories suddenly became “current,” allowing thousands of people to submit their permanent residency applications at the same time. With the prospect of more rapid, although unpredictable, advancement in these two EB-2 categories, it is always possible that a pending I-485 application could be approved while the applicant is temporarily traveling abroad. For example, in July 2011, the Priority Dates for both EB-2 China and India will advance from October 15, 2006 to March 8, 2007. This is a significant advancement in one month. Accordingly, we would urge all I-485 applicants to check their Priority Dates and to consider the documents which will be needed in order to reenter the United States in the event that they or a family member are temporarily traveling abroad at the time U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves their I-485 permanent residence. In order to ensure that all I-485 applicants understand the potential impact of international travel and what documentation will be required for reentry, all options should be discussed with one’s attorney well before any planned travel.

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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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