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Employment-Based Immigration

Surprise: EB-3 China Priority Dates Retrogress in August

Visa-BulletinCharles Oppenheim, Chief of the U.S. State Department’s Visa Control and Reporting Division tells the American Immigration Lawyers Associaton that in August the priority date cut-off for EB-3 China will retrogress seven years to June 1, 2004. Why the big surprise in the August Visa Bulletin? Oppenheim says it initially appeared that there would be unused family-sponsored numbers available in this category, allowing for advances in the cut-off date earlier in the year. But, demand in family-sponsored China has changed drastically, making the availability of additional numbers very unlikely. Another reason for the retrogression is that the advancement of the cut-off date for EB-3 China earlier in the fiscal year generated significant demand within the allowable annual limit.

The good news is that this category will likely recover at the start of the new fiscal year, moving back to a 2010 or possibly 2011 cut-off date in October.

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