EB-1 Retrogression for Chinese Born Nationals
On July 11, 2016, the Department of State (DOS) issued a visa bulleting which threatens the status quo for Chinese born foreign nationals. The Visa bulleting was relating to the Employment-Based First Preference Category (EB-1) visa, retrogressing it for the first time in nearly a decade. The EB-1 category applies to individuals of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors or researchers, and multinational executives and managers. Retrogression means slowing down the “priority date” used by the DOS to determine when an immigrant visa will be made available to the alien. Prior to this Visa bulletin, the priority date for Chinese nationals under the EB-1 category was current since October, 2007. What that means was that foreign nationals that were qualified under the visa were allowed to simultaneously and immediately apply for their visa and adjust their status. The visa bulletin has changed this date to January 01, 2010 for nationals of China (and India). Unfortunately, what this announcement means for the thousands of EB-1 applicants is that if they did not submit their EB-1 immigration petitions before 2010, USCIS will not accept their adjustment of status applications under the backlog, or waiting list, is cleared.
The implications of these changes are that if an adjustment of status application is received by the USCIS before the end of July 2016, the application will be current and it will be accepted for processing. However, this is one major positive takeaway from all of this: Applicants from China and India can look forward to October 1, 2016, when the new annually allotted green cards under the EB-1 category will be issued, which the August 2016 visa bulletin announced that the categories will once again become current. In summary, EB-1 retrogression for Chinese foreign nationals may indicate a distressing trend: that the visa category which was once considered the fastest way to an employment based green card, may now be slowing down to match existing backlogs in other visa categories. For instance, the EB-2 visa category for China in the past few years has been heavily backlogged, so many applicants chose the EB-1 route for a quicker means towards lawful permanent residence.
The United States needs to understand that by enabling the most talented and gifted individuals in the world to come to and work in the United States, the positive impact on society, both economically and culturally, is immeasurably positive. Therefore, let’s stay optimistic that the announced October 2016 date will place EB-1 visas back onto current status, so that the world’s best can continue to apply and move their talents to the United States.
The team here at Buda Law Group knows that the retrogression changes announced to begin in August will majorly impact many families in the United States. We are ready to deal and adjust to any changes of this magnitude that come about, and feel that we are the best in the industry to achieve the best possible results. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding the announced EB-1 retrogression, or any immigration issue and they will be gladly answered.
John B. Buda, Esq.