“Other Worker” Visa Category Becomes Unavailable; Some Categories Move Forward Significantly
The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for May 2007 notes that the employment third preference “other worker” category for unskilled workers was expected to reach the annual numerical limit by the end of April. As a result, the category became unavailable beginning in May and will remain so for the remainder of fiscal year 2007.
Also, the Department noted that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Department of Labor still have a significant number of backlogged cases. As a result, an anticipated increase in demand for visa numbers has not yet materialized and may not for some time. In an effort to maximize number use under the annual numerical limit, the Department said, the Worldwide and Philippines employment third preference cut-off dates have advanced by one year, to August 1, 2003. Eligible professionals and skilled workers with priority dates earlier than August 1, 2003, may apply for adjustment of status or consular processing in May. Unless there is a significant increase in employment visa demand, the Department noted, it will be necessary to continue this rate of movement during the upcoming months. Such movement may be expanded to include other chargeability areas and preference categories.
One consequence of rapid cut-off date advancement is the inevitable increase in demand for visa numbers as adjustment of status cases are brought to conclusion at USCIS offices. Such increased demand could have a dramatic impact on the cut-off dates, leading to retrogressions. The Department said it would provide as much advance notice as possible should this occur.