At least 12,000 additional numbers will be available for EB-2 (employment-based, second preference) immigrant visa because of a dramatic reduction in the use of EB-1 (employment-based, first preference) immigrant visa, the Chief of Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, Charlie Oppenheim, has announced. He said U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services “ha[s] seen a decline in filings, and does not expect a change in the number use pattern. Therefore, this decline in EB-1 number use will allow me to begin having those ‘otherwise unused’ numbers drop down and be available for use in the EB-2 category. Based on current indications, that would mean that at least 12,000 additional numbers will be available to the EB-2 category. This situation will allow me to advance the India EB-2 cut-off date for May. The reason being that all ‘otherwise unused’ numbers are provided strictly in priority date order, and the India demand has the largest concentration of early dates.”
According to Mr. Oppenheim, the fall-off in demand for EB-1 numbers began in October 2010. To find out current processing dates, check the visa bulletin website.