The priority dates for all family-based petitions, except that of the Third Preference (married children of U.S. citizens), moved forward by at least two weeks, as shown in the September 2005 monthly Visa Bulletin. Petitions by green card holders moved forward by at least 2-1/2 months.
However, visa numbers remained “unavailable” for both employment-based cases for professionals and skilled workers, and for “other” (unskilled) workers. This means that these two employment categories have reached their annual limits, and no adjustment of status or immigrant visa issuance will be made from July through September. With the start of the new fiscal year in October, we hope visas will become available again in these categories. The State Department said it is not possible to make any estimates regarding potential cutoff dates at this time.
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 two weeks, from March 8, 1991 to March 22, 1991.
The Third Preference Category F-3 (married sons and daughters of United States citizens) did not move, and remained at September 8, 1990. (Note: There is now a difference of 6-1/2 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) moved forward by one month, from February 1, 1983 to March 1, 1983.
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 two months, from July 22, 2001 to September 22, 2001.
The Second Preference, F-2B (unmarried sons and daughters, over 21 years of age, of green card holders), moved forward by 2-1/2 months, from January 22, 1996 to April 1, 1996.
Petitions by Employers:
The Third Preference (professionals and skilled workers) of Employment-Based Petitions (Labor Certification), remained unavailable. The Third Preference (non-skilled workers), also remained unavailable.
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.