The October visa bulletin released recently by the Department of State has retrogressed the Priority Date of the EB-2 petitions for India to September 01. 2004 and for China to July 15, 2007. A lot of clients are asking whether that means they have to wait forever. Unfortunately visa numbers don’t go by a clear cut mathematical progression, but rather a probability forecast by the Department of State based on approximation of current petitions pending at the Citizenship and Immigration Service.
Every country is given the same quota for immigration purposes. India and China being large countries with an enormous amount of higher educated people, the second employment based quota gets filled up very quickly. Thus people born in India or China have to wait in line, while people born in other countries get the Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) without any wait.
The Department of State has projected (and note this is a projection only) that the EB-2 numbers for India will go up to 2010 by Spring of 2013. Also note that a bill was passed by the Congress overwhelmingly to do away with the per country quota. It is being held up by one lone Senator, Senator Grassley in the Senate. That bill will probably not get through until the new administration. But if that bill ever gets passed, it will cut down the wait times for people born in India.
However, there is no guarantee. And the pendulum can swing the other way and it might take a lot of years (ie even more than the current wait time of 8 years). There simply is no way to predict.
For those people fortunate enough to file the I-485 this spring or earlier, after 180 days of filing, a new employer can port the sponsorship provided the new job is same and similar. Another issue is that often, once the Priority Date becomes current, the Citizenship and Immigration Service simply produces and sends the Green Card (Permanent Resident Card). They do not check or issue any Request for Evidence. Sometimes beneficiary is not working for that sponsoring Company. However when such beneficiary tries to get the US Citizenship, they risk the chance of losing their Green Card (Permanent Resident Card). So please make sure that those portability letters are sent out to Citizenship and Immigration Service with the new employers, and keep a copy of it.