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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy


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Really bad news for people in the EB-3 category. Priority dates in the April 2009 Visa Bulletin show backwards movement of two years. But there is some positive movement in the family numbers. Here is the DOS explanation:

Despite the established cut-off date having been held for the past
five months in an effort to keep demand within the average monthly
usage targets, the amount of demand being received from Citizenship and
Immigration Services (CIS) Offices for adjustment of status cases
remains extremely high.  Therefore, it has been necessary to retrogress
the April cut-off dates in an attempt to hold demand within the FY-2009
annual limit.  Since over 60 percent of the Worldwide and Philippines
Employment Third preference CIS demand received this year has been for
applicants with priority dates prior to January 1, 2004, the cut-off
date has been retrogressed to 01MAR03 to help ensure that the amount of
future demand is significantly reduced.  As indicated in the last
sentence of Item A, paragraph 1, of this bulletin, this cut-off date
will be applied immediately.  It should also be noted that further
retrogression or "unavailability" at any time cannot be ruled out. 

It has also been necessary to retrogress the Employment Third Preference Other Worker cut-off date for all countries in order
to hold the issuance level within the annual limit.

Here is the summary of the changes:

Family 1st - Advancement of worldwide, China and India numbers by
three weeks to 15 AUG 2002. Mexico remains stalled (again) at 8 OCT 1992. The Philippines advances two weeks to 1 AUG 1993.

Family 2A - Worldwide, India, China and the Philippines numbers
advance six weeks to 15 AUG 2004. Mexico jumps ten weeks to 1 JAN 2002.

Family 2B - Worldwide, India and China numbers advance nine weeks to 1 SEP 2000. Mexico is still stuck at 1 MAY 1992. The
Philippines advances six weeks to 15 JAN 1998.

Family 3rd - Worldwide, India and China advanced two weeks to 22 AUG
2000. Mexico moves one week to 22 OCT 1992. And there was a one
week advance for the Philippines to 15 JUN 1991.

Family 4th - Worldwide numbers advance six weeks to 15 APR 1998.
China moves seven weeks to 8 JAN 1998. India advances six weeks
to 15 APR 1998. Mexico moves two weeks forward to 22 APR 1995. The
Philippines moved five weeks to 22 JUN 1986.

Employment 1st - All categories remain current.

Employment 2nd - Worldwide, Mexico and the Philippines remain
current. India remains stalled at 15 FEB 2004. China remains stalled at 15 FEB 2005.

Employment 3rd skilled/professional workers - All numbers (except India and China) retrogress after five months of remaining stalled. Worldwide and Filipino
numbers move back more than two years to 1 MAR 2003. China advances five months to 1 MAR 2003. India advances two weeks to 1 NOV 2001. Mexico falls back five months to 1 MAR

Employment 3rd unskilled - Worldwide numbers move backward more than two years to 1 MAR 2001. China moves back a year and a half to 1 MAR 2001. India moves backward six months to 1 MAR 2001. And Mexico and the Philippines each drop back over two years to 1 MAR 2001.

Employment 4th - All remain current except that DOS is saying the "other religious worker" category is unavailable since Congress has not yet extended the program which expires Wednesday.

EB-5 remains current except the regional center applications are listed as unavailable until Congress extends the program (which is set to expire on Wednesday.


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  1. no one's Avatar
    This is a poor joke, do they want us to leave? is that the real story.
    Life's, relationships and marriages are being destroyed - does anyone care? I wish the is government that claims to be the most forward in the world told us the truth and put us ALL out of our misery so we may get on with our life's - are you going to give us a green card or not?
    A child with direction could organize this system better than the Government can! I am disgusted with the whole system and the people that play with good intelligent people.
  2. John's Avatar
    This is so depressing. It would have been faster for me to get a doctorate at an American University and apply on EB1 or EB2 than sit here spinning on an EB3.
  3. John's Avatar
    Is this a joke? how can you push 2 yrs back from March to April. USCIS needs some help hahahha
  4. sagar's Avatar
    I am a nurse who passed NCLEX etc three years b4 and waiting for visa. Our hope is on, as Greg said, expected new nurses legislation. No hope on visa bullettin.
    Dear Greg, When r u hoping new legislation will be introduced and when it will come into law? Any prediction?
  5. texanmom's Avatar
    John- There is no guarantee that a Masters or PhD degree will get you in the EB1 or EB2 queue. Some companies will just not sponsor on EB2 even if they need such a qualification/ you have it- they either like to play it safe or have some others in the same position that does not have the higher degree. As is the case with us- my husband and I are Masters degree holders from reputed universities (U Mass and UT Austin). The job we applied for required a Masters degree (per the ad), but when it came to the GC, they said EB3 or nothing. We took it- that was 9 years ago, right after Sept 11. We are STILL waiting......
  6. t-cell's Avatar

    "I am a nurse who passed NCLEX etc three years b4 and waiting for visa. Our hope is on, as Greg said, expected new nurses legislation. No hope on visa bullettin."

    I agree with you 100%, sagar. Only hope as far as nurse immigration is concerned is the re-introduction of the nurse legislation. No hope on the regular EB system at it's present form. Just too broken of a system.
  7. George Chell's Avatar
    "This is so depressing. It would have been faster for me to get a doctorate at an American University and apply on EB1 or EB2 than sit here spinning on an EB3."

    That is what many have been doing for at least twenty five years ever since the Simpson-Mazolli legislation of 1984 threatened to send everyone without a doctorate home. Had the adopted the legislation, the US would have face catastrophe of unimaginable magnitude in the internet era, because the legislation was going to ban foreigners earning doctorates in the US from working in the country after July 1989.

  8. George Chell's Avatar
    Also a doctorate at a US University with publications could land you a O visa which you can be on till you get the EB1.
  9. John Snell's Avatar
    Oh well... INS giveth, and INS taketh away.
  10. D's Avatar

    What do you think of interpretation of spillovers.. There are some ROW folks who think that India and China should not get more than 7 percent of all visas unless all other categories are current?

  11. bobzibub's Avatar
    It is disappointing. (I'm ROW EB3).

    Imagine if a car dealer made this offer: Pay us X thousands and we'll give you the opportunity to spin the giant "magic dates" wheel. You'll be in a enormous queue, though we won't:

    1) tell you where in the queue you are.
    2) give you an estimation of completion.

    But we will:

    1) make you pay for renewals of all sorts of odd things like permission to leave and return. (My friends back home joke about my "Parole")
    2) change the rules as you go along.

    And, by the way, you have to win the "magic dates" lottery twice or more to get your car.

    If it was a car they were selling it would be called "fraud" wouldn't it?
  12. legal-forever-waiting-forever's Avatar
    That would also mean that Eb3 would take the lion's share of green cards. The law equally clearly states that the GC numbers are to be divided equally or at least allotted by "preference" category. Any way you look at it, there is a problem.
    Is it in America's interest that most of the EB immigration be by EB3? We can all have our own opinions.
  13. Raji's Avatar

    Is there any chance of introducing the 2009 version of 5924 during march 2009. Kindly give us your valuable update.
  14. Raji's Avatar

    Is there any possibility for intrdoducing the 2009 version of HR 5924 during March 2009. Please give us your honest opinion.
  15. Mandrachorg's Avatar
    you posting on the wrong place, man. The focus of this blog appears to be mostly on helping foreign nurses, religious nuts, and illegal immigrants. Too bad most of the target audience is illiterate and doesn't post here much (except for two guys who repeat same arguments like broken records). Legal immigrants will be left to rot as usual...
  16. Jay Winter's Avatar
    I already got used to the fact that the INSANE people are running the US immigration system. So with no shock and suprise was I able to swallow the news of EB3 retrogression. Because you know what, I am actually considering coming back to my country, and I am sure I wil like it, it does not scare me, I actually miss my relatives and friends and I detest being ****ed around by the immigration.
  17. John's Avatar
    Yep. Me too. 10 years is too long. I want to get a high-tech startup going, but I can't keep waiting around. Back to the UK for me I think.
  18. TXMike's Avatar
    Is there any information as to when the EB3 Visas would start moving along again ?

    regards and good patience....
  19. Christine's Avatar
    This is the ultimate slap in the face. My priority date is Sept 2003. In the last 5 months the Visa Bulletin was in May 05 so after finally getting my I-140 approved after it had been sent in for a second time after it got denied the first time due to a lawyer mistake, I had completed all my paperwork on Wednesday 03/11/09 and was writing the checks to put everything in an envelope to send to my lawyer when I decided to check the bulletin for no other reason than maybe it would finally be the last time. Imagine my shock and despair when I saw the new date. I immediately called my lawyer who did not even know. She told me we have to stop everything and now I may even have to re-do my medicals if it takes too long. I'm like you all, going back is looking better and better but we have been here since June of 01 and my kids don't know any other life. I just can't understand how they can play with our lives and allow people in that most likely my taxes will be paying for while I sit here working hard and praing that I get my papers before my company shuts down. This is just unbelievable. How many of you have talked to American Citizens that are just shocked at the stupidity of it all and just had no idea how bad the immigration system was? The other worst part is that my brother in law got his green card by winning the green card lottery on his first try. I've applied 7 times with no luck. Is there a message there to go back? What are we all thinking staying here. This country is falling apart.
  20. kyle's Avatar
    Oh my gosh its really so sad to heard that kind of bad news,im a fresh grad.... my pd is feb 2008 i think i can still wait with march 2005 vb until my current date but with the new visa bulletin this april im thinking to go and enroll to med school na lang already tired of being a volunteer nurse...
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