January 2010 Employment Based Visa Bulletin

The Department of State has just released the new visa bulletin for January 2010 on December 10, 2009.

Last month, the EB-2 category for both mainland Chinese and Indian nationals remained unchanged from the November visa bulletin. In addition, the EB-1 category stayed current for worldwide applicants. Cut-off dates in the EB-3 category moved forward nine days from April 22, 2001 to May 1, 2001 for Indian nationals and did not change for mainland Chinese nationals.

Based on the January 2010 visa bulletin, USCIS reports that the EB-1 category is still current in all countries. In the EB-2 category, cutoff dates for mainland Chinese nationals progressed one month from April 1, 2005 to May 1, 2005, but remained the same for Indian nationals. In the EB-3 category, the cutoff dates for mainland Chinese nationals progressed 2 months from June 1, 2002 to August 1, 2002 and progressed 53 days for Indian nationals from May 1, 2001 to June 22, 2001.

The EB-2 and EB-3 categories are usually backlogged or unavailable year-round. We are fairly certain that the EB-3 category will become unavailable once again this year. As the EB-3 category is for unskilled workers, skilled workers with at least 2 years of experience, and professionals with a bachelor’s degree, the pool of applicants is much larger than for the EB-1 and EB-2 categories, which are usually reserved for highly specialized workers or workers with graduate level degrees. Perhaps with the recent implementation of new protocol at USCIS, visa backlogging will not be as much of a problem this year.

We will keep you updated on further visa bulletins in advance.