Priority Dates For Family of Immigrants Slip To Reprehensible Length Says Dallas Attorney
Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) February 4, 2011 – The U.S. Department of State released the Visa Bulletin for January of 2011, bringing bad news for foreign nationals who are trying to immigrate to the U.S. based on a qualifying family relationship.
Priority dates, each immigrant's “place in line” for a visa with which to immigrate to the U.S., retrogressed, or moved backwards, meaning that immigrants will face a longer wait until they are eligible to join their relatives to the U.S.
Priority dates had been moving forward in past months, giving some families hope that they would be reunited in the U.S. sooner, but the dates began retrogressing in December. Some of the dates moved back as much as several years.
“A cornerstone of U.S. immigration policy has been reunification of the family,” said Dallas immigration attorney Stewart Rabinowitz of the firm Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz. “Seeing visa number availability move backwards means greater hardship for family members seeking reunification, especially spouses and minor children of permanent residents, who must wait years for a visa number to come current.”
The priority date for the First Preference Category, known as F1 (unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens, over 21 years of age) is set to Jan. 1, 2005 for applicants from most countries, except for Mexico and the Philippines, whose dates go back to the early 1990s. As an example, this represents a two year and 10 month retrogression for immigrants from the Philippines.
There was a similar pattern among other categories. The family-sponsored preference 2A category (the spouse and children of lawful permanent residents) for most countries retrogressed approximately 20 months from Aug. 1, 2010 to Jan. 1, 2008. The family-sponsored 2B category (adult, unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents) for most countries retrogressed from June 1, 2005 to April 15, 2003, approximately 26 months.
The State Department said that these numbers will likely not decrease for some time, as demand for family-sponsored immigration shows no signs of subsiding.
There have been no changes to employment-based priority dates. All EB-1 (priority worker) priority dates remain current. EB-2 (advanced degree holders) priority dates are current for most foreign nationals, except for immigrants from China and India.
The State Department releases monthly Visa Bulletins that summarize the availability of immigrant numbers.
Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C.
14901 Quorum Drive, Suite 580
Dallas, Texas 75254
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