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DOS Expects Little Forward Movement in Family-Based Classifications; Cut-offs in Third Preference Employment-Based as Early as January 2005

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 04091568 (posted Sep. 15, 2004)"

The following item regarding visa availability will be included in the October Visa Bulletin. That bulletin should be available online sometime in the next few days.

D. VISA AVAILABILITY DURING THE COMING MONTHS

During the past two years, the visa allocation system compensated for the reduction in CIS visa number demand by making very rapid advances in the visa cut-off dates. As the cut-off dates advanced, tens of thousands of applicants became eligible to file for adjustment of status at CIS offices. Heavy demand was expected as CIS began to address their backlog and finalize action on such cases. The Visa Office has been alerting interested parties to this possibility over the past two years, and this is exactly what has recently begun to happen.

FAMILY: As CIS demand for visa numbers continues to increase, little if any forward movement of cut-off dates is expected during FY-2005, and the potential for retrogressions in certain categories cannot be ruled out. While retrogression of certain Family cut-off dates is not likely in the immediate future, it cannot be ruled out late in the fiscal year. This is because the CIS backlog is likely to include large numbers of applicants in all categories with priority dates well before the current cut-off dates.

EMPLOYMENT: The increasing CIS use of numbers is likely to require the establishment of cut-off dates in one or more categories during FY-2005. Such action is expected in the Employment Third preference category as early as January.