The priority dates for all categories of the Family-Based Petitions moved forward by at least three weeks, as shown in the monthly Visa Bulletin for May 2005, released by the State Department. Employment-based 3rd Preference cases for professionals and skilled workers moved forward by two months, but priority date for “other” (unskilled) workers remained at July 1, 2001. Also, the State Department indicates that visas for unskilled workers may soon retrogress (move backwards) or become “unavailable” for fiscal year 2005.
Petitions by Citizens:
The priority date for the First Preference Category, F-1 (unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, over 21 years of age) moved forward by one month, from December 15, 1990 to January 15, 1991.
The Third Preference Category F-3 (married sons and daughters of United States citizens) also moved forward by one month, from August 1, 1990 to September 1, 1990. (Note: There is now a difference of 4-1/2 months in priority dates between unmarried and married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.).
The Fourth Preference, F-4 (brothers and sisters of United States citizens) also moved forward by one month, from November 22, 1982 to December 22, 1982.
Petitions by Green Card Holders:
The Second Preference, F-2A (spouse and minor children below 21 years of age, of green card holders) of Family-Based Petitions moved forward by more than seven weeks, from January 8, 2001 to March 1, 2001.
The Second Preference, F-2B (unmarried sons and daughters, over 21 years of age, of green card holders), moved forward by more than three weeks, from October 15, 1995 to November 8, 1995.
Petitions by Employers:
The Third Preference (professionals and skilled workers) of Employment-Based Petitions (Labor Certification), moved forward by two months, from April 1, 2002 to June 1, 2002. The Third Preference (non-skilled workers), which retrogressed in March 2005, did not move and remained at July 1, 2001.
Each month, the Visa Office of the State Department publishes the priority dates for that particular month. This means that visas would now be available for persons whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.