Employment Second Preference Visa Cut-Off Date Advances Significantly for June
The previous Visa Bulletin for May 2011, from the State Department’s Visa Office, noted that § 202(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prescribes rules for the use of potentially “otherwise unused” employment numbers. During May, the India employment second preference cut-off date governed the use of such numbers, because India had reached its employment second preference annual limit.
Since October 2010, the latest Visa Bulletin for June 2011 explains, there has been heavy demand by applicants “upgrading” their status from employment third to employment second preference. The rapid forward movement of the India employment second preference cut-off date in May had the potential to greatly increase such demand. Therefore, the Visa Office had delayed determination of the June cut-off dates to monitor this demand. The Visa Office has since determined that new “upgrade” demand has been minimal; this has allowed the employment second preference cut-off date governing the use of the § 202(a)(5) numbers to advance significantly for June. The same cut-off date (October 15, 2006) applies to both the China and India employment second preference in June. Other second preference categories are Current. The Visa Bulletin for June notes that all of the “otherwise unused” numbers must be provided strictly in priority date order regardless of the applicant’s chargeability.
Cut-off date movement for upcoming months cannot be guaranteed, the June Visa Bulletin notes, and because of the variables involved, “no assumptions should be made until the dates are formally announced.” Should there be a sudden or significant increase in India and China employment second preference demand, it may be necessary to slow, stop, or even retrogress that cut-off date as the end of fiscal year 2011 approaches.