As per the State Department's April 2009 Visa Bulletin, priority date cut-offs for the third employment-based preference (EB-3) subcategory for professional and skilled workers will advance more than four months for China and will advance 16 days for India.
All other EB-3 subcategories will retrogress substantially; cut-off dates will retrogress five months for Mexico and more than two years for the Philippines and all other countries. There will be no change in priority date cut-offs for the second employment-based preference category (EB-2) for India and China. The first employment-based preference category (EB-1) will remain current for all countries.
The cut-off dates for the retrogressed EB-3 subcategories – which cover all countries except India and China – are effective immediately. Beginning today, USCIS will not accept applications for Adjustment of Status in the retrogressed EB-3 subcategories unless the priority date is current under the April 2009 Visa Bulletin. Immigrant visa applications overseas should be processed according to the March 2009 Visa Bulletin, as the March 2009 visa numbers were allocated to the consular posts by the State Department at the beginning of the month.
In April, priority date cut-offs for the first three employment-based categories will be as follows:
- EB-1: Current for all countries.
- EB-2: China – February 15, 2005; India – February 15, 2004; all other countries – current.
- EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers: India – November 1, 2001; all other countries – March 2003.
- EB-3 Other Workers: All countries – March 1, 2001.
In addition, cut-off dates for the Regional Center Pilot Program for employment-based fifth preference (EB-5) immigrant investors and the special immigrant category for non-minister religious workers appear as "unavailable." The State Department indicates that these two categories will remain unavailable until Congress passes legislation to extend the programs. Congress is currently considering legislation that would extend both categories until September 2009.