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After moving forward at such a phenomenal pace in recent months, the priority dates began retrogressing (moving backwards).

That unfortunate trend continues in the January 2011 visa bulletin, where some categories moved back several years since the December 2010 posting.

Petitions by Citizens:

The priority date for the First Preference Category, F-1 (unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, over 21 years of age) retrogressed by 2 years and 10 months from April 1, 1997 to June 1, 1994.

The Third Preference Category, F-3 (married sons and daughters of United States citizens) retrogressed by 8 months and 9 days from July 1, 1992 to October 22, 1991.

The Fourth Preference, F-4 (brothers and sisters of United States citizens) priority date remained the same at January 1, 1988.

Petitions by Green Card Holders:

The Second Preference, F-2A (Spouse and minor children (below 21 years old) of green card holders) retrogressed by 2 years and 7 months from August 1, 2010 January 1, 2008.

The Second Preference, F-2B (unmarried sons and daughters, over 21 years of age, of green card holders) retrogressed by 9 months and 15 days from March 1, 2000 to May 15, 1999.

Petitions by Employers:

However, the Third Preference (professionals and skilled workers) of Employment-Based Petitions (Labor Certification) priority date moved forward by 1 month from February 22, 2005 to March 22, 2005.

The priority date for unskilled (other) workers remained the same at April 1, 2003.

Each month, the Visa Office of the State Department publishes the priority dates for that particular month.

This means that visas (or green cards) would now be available for persons whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date.

If your priority date was “current,” but retrogressed (or became “unavailable”) before your immigrant visa was issued (or before you adjusted status in the U.S.), you would have to wait until it becomes current again.

***

Michael J. Gurfinkel is licensed, and an active member of the State Bar of California and New York.

All immigration services are provided by, or under the supervision of, an active member of the State Bar of California.

Each case is different.

The information contained herein (including testimonials, “Success Stories,” endorsements and re-enactments) is of a general nature, and is not intended to apply to any particular case, and does not constitute a prediction, warranty, guarantee or legal advice regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

No attorney-client relationship is, or shall be, established with any reader.

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