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Immigration Law Associates, PC

Regression for Employment Preference Petitions or Visas

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Department of State that issues Visa numbers have good news for family-based classifications but the news is bad for employment-based classifications.

In recent years the demand for visa numbers in family based categories has declined.  AILA-DC met with Charles Oppenheimer who works for the State Department Visa Control and Reporting Division responsible for producing the annual report to the Visa office and for issuing the Visa Bulletin.  He stated that most likely this decline in visas available for employment is reflective of the one million less immigrants entering the country compared to the usual one million increase per year in population.  This decline is most certainly a commentary on our economy as visa fees continue to increase even 10% again on November 23, 2010.  Yet jobs and employment prospects are unavailable.  The petitioners can no longer afford the Affidavit of Support (I-864) requirement either. However, this is not resulting in the flight of those unlawfully present as the three (3) and ten (10) year bars imposed for returning after departure make it an unlikely prospect of ever returning if they leave.  This leaves illegals extreme angst and a Sisyphus choice. 

Thus, priority dates of family-based categories are advancing quickly particularly for spouses and  minor children of lawful permanent residents (F-2A and F-2B)   By February 2011 it is projected that these categories would be close to current and National Visa Center ( NVC) is notifying hundreds of thousands of applicants to get their paperwork ready for visas. 

On the other hand, employment-based ( EB-2 and EB-3) are oversubscribed.  Often families are involved in coming with the worker and thus even create a heavier toll on the categories.  The above categories for China are expected to move slowly over the next few months at the pace of one to two weeks for several months. 

In this climate, practitioners with adjustments at District Offices are highly encouraged to ensure visa has been requested immediately upon approval of the petition.

Filed under: Immigration Issues

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