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Implications of rapid priority date advance in EB-2 for nationals of China & India

Published: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 9:00 am

December 27, 2011. The Senate bill that would remove the current per country caps on employment-based immigration is still on hold. As a companion bill to the recently passed H.R. 3012, it would, if passed, provide significant relief for natives of China and India currently waiting for visa availability in the EB-2 and EB-3 categories.

immigration attorney lawyer eb-2 national interest priority date green cardEven without any statutory change, there has been very significant priority date movement in recent months for Chinese and Indian nationals in the EB-2 category. This preference class is available to aliens with advanced degrees or those whose work is in the national interest. The recent advances are a result of insufficient numbers of individuals from other countries applying for their Green Cards. When this happens, the unused visa numbers may be used for whichever applicants are at the head of the line, regardless of their country of origin.

The need to “fill up the pipeline” with more applicants so that all allocated visas will be used shows that relatively few individuals with advanced degrees are immigrating to the U.S. from countries other than India and China. It has already been established that a sizeable proportion of scientists and engineers graduating with advanced degrees from American universities are from China and India.

The only downside of the current priority date advancement is an increased likelihood of retrogression later in the year.

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