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Posts tagged Retrogression
Trends in Employment-Based Immigration: The O-1A Visa Remains an Attractive Option

By: Shaune D. Fraser, Esq.

For tech, business, and creatives professionals, entrepreneurs, athletes & coaches, and qualifying F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors, the O-1A work/employment visa remains one of the best U.S. immigration options despite significant increases in visa backlogs, denials of routine visa extensions, and retrogression amongst employment based (EB) green card categories.

The O-1A visa has no annual numeral limitation/cap and no visa lottery. This 3-year work/employment visa is reserved for individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, motion picture, arts or athletics. Per the regulations, “extraordinary ability” is exhibited through a showing of sustained national or international acclaim and a demonstrated record of achievement, and the O-1 classification has been interpreted to apply to “any field of endeavor”.

Contrary to popular belief, the O-1A visa is available to individuals who possess special skills in their area of expertise (not just Nobel Prize laureates or Oscar winners, et. al.). Talented individuals in these fields can establish eligibility through the submission of documentation that fulfills three (3) of the below-listed O-1A criterion:

·       Employment in a critical or essential capacity;

·       Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions;

·       Published material about you in professional or major trade publications, or other major media;

·       Membership in associations;

·       Authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals, or other major media;

·       High salary or other remuneration;

·       Participation as an official judge/reviewer of the work of others; and

·       Receipt of a national or international award.

Most importantly, the USCIS premium processing program remains available to O-1A applicants, allowing for approvals to be secured very quickly (within 15 days) once the requisite documentation is obtained.   

Despite the restrictive effects of the Buy American and Hire American (BAHA) Executive Order and associated policies on immigration categories such as the H-1B, the O-1A visa remains underutilized and is among the best visa categories for talented foreign nationals.

For more information on the O-1A visa or any other U.S. immigration options, please contact me at

The information provided herein is for information purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice for any particular situation nor presumed as indefinitely up to date.

 ­­­Copyright © 2019, FRASER IMMIGRATION LAW, PLLC. All Rights Reserved.  

August 2019 Visa Bulletin: Significant retrogression across EB1, EB2, EB3 Worldwide categories towards end of fiscal year

By: Shaune D. Fraser, Esq.

According to the August 2019 Visa Bulletin, several employment-based (EB) categories will retrogress in the coming month. Retrogression occurs when the demand for EB, immigrant visas (green cards) exceeds the allotment supply managed by the U.S. Department of State (DOS).

Temporary retrogression will affect the EB1, EB2, and EB3 Worldwide categories (listed in each visa bulletin as “All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed”) through the end of the 2019 fiscal year, ending September 30, 2019. These categories are now considered to be ‘oversubscribed’ and a visa availability, priority cut-off date has been established for the month of August.

The priority cut-off date is the date of the first documentarily qualified applicant who could not be accommodated for a visa number. Only those foreign nationals with a priority date earlier than the listed cut-off/final action date are entitled to allotment of a visa number.

August 2019 Visa Bulletin Summary | Final Action Date & Retrogression Analysis

Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1) Category

  • EB-1 Worldwide will retrogress by almost 2 years to July 1, 2016.

  • EB-1 India remains oversubscribed and will stay at January 1, 2015, after retrogressing by more than two years in recent months.

  • EB-1 China will retrogress by more than 10 months to July 1, 2016.   

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) Category

  • EB-2 Worldwide will retrogress and have a priority cutoff date of Jan. 1, 2017. This category was previously current.   

  • EB-2 India will advance a few days to May 2, 2009.

  • EB-2 China moves forward two months to January 1, 2017.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Category

  • EB-3 Worldwide will retrogress and have a priority cut-off date of July 1, 2016. This category was previously current.  

  • EB-3 India retrogresses to January 1, 2006

  • EB-3 China will advance to July 1, 2016.

Section D of the August 2019 Visa Bulletin provides the following on the Establishment and Retrogression of August Employment-Based Final Action Dates:

“There has been a steadily increasing level of Employment applicant demand since late May for adjustment of status cases filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and there is no indication that this increase will end.  Therefore, it has been necessary to establish or retrogress many of the August Final Action Dates in an effort to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the respective FY-2019 annual limits.

The implementation of the above-mentioned dates is expected to be only a temporary issue.  For October, the first month of fiscal year 2020, every effort will be made to return these final action dates to those which applied for July.”

Family-Based (F2A), Final Action Date Current

The F2A category, reserved for Spouses and Unmarried Children (under 21) of Permanent Residents, remains current for foreign nationals in the Worldwide category. 

For more information, please contact

 The information provided herein is for information purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice for any particular situation nor presumed as indefinitely up to date.

Copyright © 2019, FRASER IMMIGRATION LAW, PLLC. All Rights Reserved.