The January 2010 Visa Bulletin has just been released and it is the most important Visa Bulletin ever released. For the first time, the Department of State has projected future months’ visa numbers.
Based on current indications of demand, the best case scenarios for cut-off dates which will be reached by the end of FY-2010 are:
China: July through October 2005
India: February through early March 2005
Worldwide: April through August 2005
China: June through September 2003
India: January through February 2002
Mexico: January through June 2004
Philippines: April through August 2005
FY2010 runs until September 30, 2010. Based on these projections, EB3 priority dates should move to mid-2005 by the end of FY-2010. This means that there is a five year processing time for EB3 professions, such as most nursing positions. This is a horrendous processing time. Congress plainly has to enact positive legislation aimed at progressing processing times for shortage occupations such as nursing.
The consolation is that intending immigrants can now plan for when their immigrant visa number will come. Those with EB3 priority dates beyond Summer 2005 should not expect their IV appointment in 2010. Charlie Oppenheim and the Visa Bulletin team deserve credit for producing these estimates. The fault for the long retrogression is with Congress, not with the DOS.
The Visa Bulletin also contains an explanation of the visa number calculation that is required reading for anyone interested in immigrant visa allocation.