February 2010 Visa Bulletin

The Visa Bulletin for February 2010 shows the following:

1.) The EB-1 category will remain current, for all nationalities.

2.) The cut-off date for the “EB-2 China” category will move forward by three weeks, to May 22, 2005; while the “EB-2 India” cut-off date will stay put at January 22, 2005. “EB-2 Worldwide”, “EB-2 Mexico”, and “EB-2 Philippines” will remain current.

3.) The priority date cut-off for “EB-3 China” and “EB-3 Worldwide” will move forward to September 22, 2002; while “EB-3 India” and “EB-3 Mexico” cut-off dates will NOT move forward, staying put at June 22, 2001, and July 1, 2002, respectively.

4.) EB-4 Religious Workers and EB-5 Immigrant Investors will remain current, for all nationalities.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Michael Ryvin if you have questions about your priority date, or how the Visa Bulletin works generally.

Travel Delays Expected as Homeland Security Outlines New Travel Security Recommendations

In a January 7, 2010 press release, the US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced recommendations DHS has made to President Obama, in response to security reviews ordered by the President following the attempted terrorist attack on Decemeber 25, 2009.

The five recommendations are:

1.) Re-evaluate and modify the criteria and process used to create terrorist watch lists—including adjusting the process by which names are added to the “No-Fly” and “Selectee” lists.

2.) Establish a partnership on aviation security between DHS and the Department of Energy and its National Laboratories in order to develop new and more effective technologies to deter and disrupt known threats and proactively anticipate and protect against new ways by which terrorists could seek to board an aircraft.

3.) Accelerate deployment of advanced imaging technology to provide greater explosives detection capabilities—and encourage foreign aviation security authorities to do the same—in order to identify materials such as those used in the attempted Dec. 25 attack. The Transportation Security Administration currently has 40 machines deployed throughout the United States, and plans to deploy at least 300 additional units in 2010.

4.) Strengthen the presence and capacity of aviation law enforcement—by deploying law enforcement officers from across DHS to serve as Federal Air Marshals to increase security aboard U.S.-bound flights.

5.) Work with international partners to strengthen international security measures and standards for aviation security.

Secretary Napolitano states, “The attempted attack on Christmas Day is a powerful illustration that terrorists will go to great lengths to try to defeat the security measures that have been put in place since September 11, 2001. These recommendations will strengthen aviation security – at home or abroad – through partnerships, technology and law enforcement efforts.”

New Procedure for Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) Requests

Question: What programs are affected by the new prevailing wage procedure administered by the National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Center (NPWHC) in Washington DC?

Answer: The NPWHC will process PWD requests for H-1B, H-1B1 (Chile/Singapore), H-1C (if re-authorized by Congress), H-2B, E-3 (Australia), and labor certification (PERM) applications.

Additional questions and answers regarding the new procedure can be found here.

January 2010 Visa Bulletin including Predictions for FY 2010

The January 2010 Visa Bulletin has been released by the US Department of State.

The employment-based first preference (EB-1) category will remain current during the month of January for all nationalities, while remaining employment-based immigration categories show little movement.

Specifically, the EB-2 India category has not moved from January 22, 2005; while EB-2 China has moved forward slightly to May 1, 2005. The EB-2 category for all other nationalities remains current.

The cutoff date for EB-3 Worldwide, EB-3 China, and EB-3 Philippines, is August 1, 2002; with EB-3 India at June 22, 2001 and EB-3 Mexico at July 1, 2002. The cutoff date for EB-3 unskilled (“other”) workers, is June 1, 2001.

Further, based on current indications of demand for green cards, the January 2010 Visa Bulletin predicts the following best case scenarios:

The cutoff date for the EB-2 China category will be between July and October of 2005, by the end of FY 2010 (September 30, 2010); while EB-2 India’s will be between February to early March of 2005

The cutoff dates for the EB-3 India category will be as follows:

Worldwide: April – August 2005
China: June – September 2003
India: January – February 2002
Mexico: January – June 2004
Philippines: April – August 2005

The Department of State advises that the above date ranges are only estimates which are subject to fluctuations in demand during the coming months. The actual future cut-off dates cannot be guaranteed, and it is possible that some annual limits could be reached prior to the end of the fiscal year.