Cut-off date movement in most categories continues to be greater than might ordinarily be expected, and this is anticipated to continue for at least the next few months. This is because fewer applicants are proceeding with final action on their cases at consular posts abroad, and the volume of CIS adjustment cases remains low. Once large numbers of applicants begin to have their cases brought to final action, cut-off date movements will necessarily slow or stop. Moreover, in some categories cut-off date retrogression is a possibility. Therefore, readers should be
aware that the recent rate of cut-off date advances will not continue indefinitely, but it is not possible to say at present how soon they will end.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processing during the past few years created a significant backlog of cases and a consequent reduction in demand for numbers. This was one of the primary reasons the employment-based categories remained current while tens of thousands of applicants became eligible to file for adjustment of status. In the summer of 2004, USCIS notified Congress of its intent to eliminate its backlogs by the end of FY2006. This backlog reduction effort resulted in heavy visa demand in the employment-based categories,10 and as a result, we once again faced backlogs. More recently, things took an “interesting” twist when after certain backlogged categories became current in July, DOS announced that all employment-based preference categories were “unavailable” for that month.11 In the February 2008 Visa Bulletin, DOS then announced that despite two retrogressions of the India EB-2 category, demand for numbers by USCIS offices for adjustment of status had remained extremely high and as a result, the annual limit for this category had been reached.12 In March 2008, DOS then advanced some of the employment based immigrant categories, indicating that this was done to avoid a situation later in the fiscal year. However, when you are looking at the monthly visa chart, be sure to take into account that it is possible that there will be visa retrogression and you may have to wait longer.