Journalists, reporters, Bloggers and other Media outlets keep calling my office trying to get an explanation as to what happened in July when the new Visa Bulletin was revised, and why is it such a big disaster.
The U.S. State Department surprised the immigration law community, employers and employees alike, in June of this year when it announced that employment based visas would be “current” as of July 1, 2007. They announced this via the Visa Bulletin that is published monthly by the State Department. The fact the The Visa Bulletin was current meant that thousands of applicants finally would be able to file for employment based immigration benefits, some of them after having waited six years or more for backlogs to clear.
Clients and Lawyers started preparing cases like crazy, getting ready for the Big filing days in July. All for nothing.
As of Monday, July 2, the State Department had posted a brief press release on a small section of its web site announcing that employment based numbers were not current after all. As it develops, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was able to process 60,000 employment based visa applications in the last 30 days, so that no more employment based visas are available. The next filing period is October 1, 2007, but there are bound to be backlogs and that it is anyone’s guess when employment based visa applications will next be current.
Meanwhile, what will become of the thousands of applications that were filed to meet the July 1 deadline? It seems that they will all be sent back to the applicants, despite whatever effort or cost they were put to be filed. Why did the State Department create great expectations only to have the Immigration Service crash them? The answer to this question remains to be answered, we may never know.
A law suit is currently being prepared by the American Immigration Law Foundation, plaintiffs are wanted!!
I will keep you posted.