The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has confirmed with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) that they have stopped authorizing visa numbers for the EB-3 preference category for nationals of China as of 05/09/14. The reason for stopping is that the EB-3 China cutoff date retrogressed from 10/01/2012 in the May 2014 Visa Bulletin, to 10/01/2006 in the June 2014 Visa Bulletin. Retrogression typically occurs toward the end of the fiscal year as visa issuance approaches the annual category, or per-country limitations. Sometimes a priority date that meets the cut-off date one month will not meet the cut-off date the next month. When the new fiscal year begins on October 1, a new supply of visas is made available and usually, but not always, returns the dates to where they were before retrogression.
Any of the cases that USCIS has already requested a visa number for, but have not been authorized by the DOS (i.e., assigned an available visa number) will be considered pending until the priority date becomes current. These pending cases will be automatically authorized when the China EB-3 cut-off date advances beyond the applicant’s priority date. At that point, USCIS will be able to adjudicate the case.
The DOS Visa Bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant visas on a monthly basis.
Source of Information:
AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14052849 (posted May. 28, 2014):
DOS Alert: Availability of Visa Numbers for EB-3 China
MVP Law Group’s Immigration Blog (posted 4/10/14):
Visa Bulletin – May 2014
MVP Law Group’s Immigration Blog (posted 5/12/14):
Visa Bulletin – June 2014