More family visa rollbacks announced, professional visas advance

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced further delays for family visas. The March 2011 Visa BulletinThe F-2A family visa category for spouses and children under 21 years of age of permanent residents, due to high demand, will be moved back one year for most countries.

However, in the case of Mexico, they will advance 9 months.

The setbacks are due to the increase in the number of family-based petitions. The DOS says there is a possibility that some progress could be made again, albeit slowly, if the rollback of the priority dates for these visas succeeds in decreasing the demand for family petitions in the coming months.

As far as employment category preferences are concerned, they will continue to advance for several weeks and up to several months for most countries, with some exceptions.

In the third preference (EB-3), which comprises the subcategory of professionals and specialized workers, the priority dates will advance 6 months for Mexico, and 3 months for other countries, with the exception of China and India.

In the "other workers" subcategory of the EB-3 preference, the priority dates will advance from 3 to 6 weeks for most countries, but will remain the same for Mexico.

Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states that the annual limit for family preference is 226,000 and for immigrant employment preference is at least 140,000.