The Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin for August 2012 indicates that the employment-based second preference category (EB2) for China and India continue to be unavailable. The employment-based second preference for all other countries remained at January 1, 2009. The employment-based first preference category (EB1) continues to remain current for all countries. The employment-based third preference (EB3) numbers for all countries other than India, China and Philippines made some forward movement from July 22, 2006 to September 8, 2006. EB3 India moved forward from September 22, 2002 to October 1, 2002. EB3 China moved from September 22, 2005 to November 8, 2005. EB3 Philippines moved from June 8, 2006 to June 15, 2006.
It has been predicted that in October 2012, the beginning of the 2013 fiscal year, the EB-2 cut-off dates for China and India will move to August or September 2007 and EB-2 cut-off dates for all other countries will be current.
It is important to note that "nationality” for immigrant visa allotment is not the same as citizenship. Generally, DOS looks at the country of birth in determining whether a person is a national of a given country. As a result, persons who become citizens of other countries (i.e., Indians who become Canadian citizens) are still considered nationals of their birth country for immigrant visa purposes.
For general information on visa retrogression, please see our FAQ on this subject. For more information on the Visa Bulletin and country quota movements, including information about movement in the Family-Based Quotas, please see our DOS Visa Bulletin and Quota Movement page, which includes detailed nationality-specific charts of quota movement since 1996.