Posts Tagged ‘Visa backlogs’

Immigrant Visa Backlogs Continue to Decrease from Last Year

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Highly skilled professional workers and close family members of green card holders (LPRs) and U.S. citizens continued to see a bit of a reprieve from the visa backlogs and priority date retrogression of just a year ago. The March 2012 Visa Bulletin reports that lighter demand for visa numbers has permitted the advance of priority dates, or green card availability, in a number of key categories.

The Family F2A category (spouses and children of lawful permanent residents) for March has a cut-off date of July 22, 2009 for all countries (in March 2011, the cut-off was January 1, 2007) except Mexico; for Mexico, the cut-off is July 1, 2009.

On the employment-based side, the wait for EB-2 Masters-level immigrant visas for China and India has dramatically improved and is now a little more than two years, or January 1, 2010.  At this time just last year, the wait for these nationals was five years.

DOS cautions, however, that when the level of new filings or USCIS processing increases significantly, it will be necessary to slow or stop the movement of the cut-off dates, and retrogression is a distinct possibility.

Family-Based Immigrant Visa Backlogs Continue to Increase

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Close family members of green card holders and U.S. citizens, who already are used to the long queue for their visas, will now have to wait even longer. The March 2011 Visa Bulletin, the official Department of State publication establishing visa availability and cut-off dates, reports that heavy demand for visa numbers has required categories to continue to retrogress. The Family F2A category (spouses and children of lawful permanent residents) has been particularly impacted, with a cut-off date of January 1, 2007, for all countries except Mexico (where the cut-off date is January 1, 2006). Compare these dates to the cut-off in December 2010, when the F2A category was at August 1, 2010, for all countries expect Mexico

On the employment-based side, no significant changes are reported in the March Visa Bulletin, with numbers slowly inching forward for most categories. Still, professional visas remain seriously backlogged — more than five to eight years — and master-level visas remain backlogged for more than five years for foreign nationals from India and China.

Only Congress has the authority to reduce these long, long waits through ameliorative legislation. How long can America expect these highly skilled professionals to wait? How long can close family members be separated?