Some Observations from DOS on India EB-2 Unavailability
On January 10, 2007, AILA Liaison contacted Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting at the State Department, to speak about the announcement of India EB-2 visa unavailability in the February 2008 Visa Bulletin. By early November, indications were that USCIS demand for India EB-2 visa numbers would place significant pressure on the overall annual limitation, leading to the decision to roll back the priority date for India EB-2 for December 2007 to 01JAN02, and for January 2008 to 01JAN00. Even with those significant retrogressions, USCIS requested almost 300 India EB-2 for December. (As an indication of the rate of demand and how close to the quarterly and annual limits usage is, the USCIS requested three India EB-2 numbers for January, all with dates prior to 01 JAN 00.) There is some possibility that India EB-2 could again become available if it appears that the demand for India EB-1 will not exceed the annual limit, but, that determination will not be able to be made until the second half of the fiscal year.
For China-mainland born EB-2, if demand remains as has been seen over the last couple of months, it is expected that the 01 JAN 03 cut-off date will hold, and it is likely that all numbers will be used within the current cut-off date.
As is always the case, Charlie is looking for mechanisms to maximize number usage so that no visa numbers remain unallocated, and is looking for ways to make additional India and China-mainland born numbers available, such as by making sure that unused numbers that had been sent to consular posts are promptly returned.