Here is everything you always wanted to know about retrogression, EB3 category and Visa Bulletin.
On June 13, 2005, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the Visa Bulletin for July 2005. The Visa Bulletin indicates that the Employment-Based 3rd (EB3) Preference Category, including its Other Worker subcategory, will be Unavailable as of July 1, 2005. This means that the DOS temporarily cannot grant immigrant visas and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cannot approve I-485 Applications to Adjust Status to Permanent Residence for any person in the EB3 category as of July 1, 2005. Following is more information on how long this may last. The only EB3 workers who may be approved will be those who are Schedule “A” workers, due to the 50,000 additional visa numbers that Congress and the President provided to them under law. Schedule A workers generally include nurses and physical therapists
Who Is EB3?
The issue of unavailability of visa numbers relates to green card cases only. It does not limit eligibility for any of the nonimmigrant categories, such as H-1, L-1, J-1, F-1, O-1, B-1 or any other "lettered" status category. There are three affected categories of EB3 workers: persons who have bachelor's degrees (professionals); persons who have at least 2 years of experience in the job offered (skilled workers); and persons who have less than 2 years of experience in the job offered (other workers). In order for a job to fall into one of these categories, one must have the required criteria, and the employer must consider the criteria a minimum requirement for the job. For example, if a person has a master's degree but the employer requires only a bachelor's degree for the job, the petition is considered an EB3 (professional) petition. If one is not sure of the category, s/he may want to check the I-140 receipt notice, if the case has reached that point. The I-140 receipt notice should reflect INA Section 203(b)(3)(i) for EB3 skilled workers, 203(b)(3)(ii) for professionals and 203(b)(3)(iii) for other workers. Otherwise, it may be necessary to ask the attorney who filed the case for the category assigned to the case.
© Exception - Schedule A Workers
A Schedule A case, which includes nurses and physical therapists, is in EB3. This is a special subcategory, however, and is not subject to the unavailability at this time. More information on Schedule A visa number predictions can be found below
1.What Does this Mean for EB3s?
This means that, as of July 1, 2005 and continuing until more visa numbers are available, a person in the EB3 category will not be able to file the I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status nor proceed to issuance of an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad. A pending I-485 or Consular Processing case in this category will remain pending until a visa number for the case becomes available. A foreign national with an I-485 pending is considered lawfully present in the United States and is permitted to remain in the U.S. pending the case outcome.
2. How Long will the Unavailability Last?
The U.S. government runs on a fiscal year (FY) that is on an October-through-September cycle. Therefore, the first day of the government's fiscal year is always October 1st, and the last day is always September 30th. According to the Visa Bulletin, the visa numbers for the EB3 category have reached their annual limit. This means that they have run out for the current fiscal year and that the visa numbers in the EB3 category, including other workers, will not be available again until October 1, 2005, which is the start of the FY2006.
3. Presently, it is unknown whether the category will be current at that time or if there will be a cut-off date. Current visa numbers are indicated with "C" in the Visa Bulletin. The designation of current means that there are sufficient visa numbers for everyone, no matter what the priority date of the case. When there are limited visa numbers available, the DOS establishes cut-off dates. This means that there are enough visa numbers only for those cases filed before the cut-off date. Now we, the healthcare workers are in this group, whom only limited visa numbers are available. These dates appear in the Visa Bulletin each month. Often cut-off dates are established for certain countries with high levels of immigration. No country is allowed to use more than 7% of the total visa numbers for the year. Therefore, availability may be limited depending upon one's country of origin. The countries typically affected are India, mainland China, and the Philippines in the employment-based categories, and sometimes the Philippines and Mexico in family-based categories.
4. Thus, this problem will last at least until October 1, 2005. Prior to this, the visa numbers in the EB3 category had established cut-off dates in the other worker category for all countries and in the professional / skilled worker categories for persons from India, mainland China, and the Philippines
5. If any eligible person, whose priority date is current as of mid-June 2005 in the EB3 category, has delayed processing an I-485 application, it is best to file prior to July 1, 2005. Otherwise, the earliest possible date that the case could be filed would be October 1, 2005. As explained above, however, there is no guarantee that the cut-off dates will permit filing even on October 1, 2005, for all EB3 cases, since a cut-off date could likely be established at that time
6. If an I-485 is pending when visa numbers retrogress or become unavailable; the I-485 will not be fully processed until the visa numbers are available for that case's priority date. The person may file for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and Advance Paroles (APs) as needed only while the I-485 is pending, however.
7. Spouses / children
A derivative spouse and the child/children in employment-based green card cases are assigned the same category and priority date as the primary beneficiary. Their cases follow the same rule requiring visa availability at the time of filing. This creates a variety of problematic situations when the cases for an entire family are not or cannot be filed at the same time. If the spouse and/or child/children have not filed the I-485, but are in the U.S. and are eligible to do so, they should file while they can. A spouse who is outside the U.S. and unable to proceed with her/his green card case before July 1, 2005, may have to spend more time abroad than anticipated. Anyone with questions about how this matter will affect his or her family should consult with a qualified immigration attorney.
8.EB2 Category Still Current
The employment-based second preference (EB2) numbers remain current for July 2005. There has been concern, however, that the EB2 category may retrogress before the end of the fiscal year. Therefore, persons in the EB2 category should not assume that there is plenty of time to file the I-485 application. They are at least eligible during the month of July 2005. If the case has reached the point where filing is permitted, it is best to take advantage of this fact in most situations and file the case in July 2005.© Schedule A Workers Safe for Some Time
For Schedule A Workers, the DOS plans to take visa numbers from the appropriate category, usually EB3, when they are available. If the numbers have retrogressed either to a point before a particular Schedule A worker's priority date, or have become unavailable, the DOS will provide one of the 50,000 specially-allocated visa numbers for that person. Since the EB3 numbers are unavailable until October 1, 2005, any immigrant visas or I-485 approvals from July 1, 2005 until October 1, 2005 will be counted against the 50,000 limit. The DOS does not expect that these numbers will be exhausted in the foreseeable future.
9. Retrogression Only Impacts Filing the I-485 / Obtaining the IV
The problem discussed above only impacts the final stage of the green card case, filing the I-485 or obtaining the I-485 approval, or obtaining the immigrant visa (IV) at the consulate abroad. It does not affect the ability to start the case and obtain approval of the labor certification and I-140 petition. Thus, RETROGRESSION is not a reason to delay starting a green card case. To the contrary, as priority dates have become vitally important once again, the earlier filing date is likely to be quite beneficial in the ultimate timing and processing of a case.
Understanding this issue is now crucial to understanding green card procedures and timing, as well as other strategic immigration matters. So we advice you all and especially those nurses who are in the process of choosing a right agency, to see that the agency takes all care to file your I-140s the moment you join them, if you already have Nclex and IELTS or CGFNS.
We recommend you to select an agency that offers no freebees but starts your process right away. Delay even for a day can mean availability or non availability of visa for you, then why should you take the risk of losing your chance to enter the states as early as possible!
Also always, wait to join an agency till you have cleared your IELTS and NCLEX as joining an agency without these qualifications can give them ample opportunities to exploit you or delay your process. Also keep in mind it is not a legal practice for any agency to demand your original certificates as no process related to your immigration program under EB3 category requires any original certificates. If asked for your original certificates by an agency it will just be for the purpose of intimidating you at a later time, detaining your originals and demanding exorbitant amounts of money for release of the same.
For God’s sake, please do not give your SSLC/SSC or original Nursing certificates and Passport to any agency because getting duplicates is not a simple issue. You can always get additional copies of your IELTS or Nclex certificates. But to be safe, do not entertain demands for your original certificates from recruiting agencies.
So, we again say, retrogression is not a reason to delay your green card case, but on the contrary a good reason to start your case as early as possible. For any clarification on this issue you can always contact us on our email: firstname.lastname@example.org or our telephone number: 011-22110173 and we will certainly be happy to help you in all possible ways. Keep visiting our website and you will never be ignorant of any issues regarding your immigration process.
Be happy, America needs us badly and she will invite you all to her shores but try to be there as fast as possible, through a very reliable agency. Like to know about reputed agencies, you can certainly contact us through our email or telephone number.
See you soon!