The State Department recently announced that for the first time in recent memory, all available visas under the worldwide employment 1st preference have been used.  The category will be effectively closed at least until the new government fiscal year begins on October 1.

The employment 1st preference include aliens of extraordinary ability, outstanding researchers, and multinational managers/executives. This retrogression means that while petitions can still be filed and approved under these categories, applicants cannot make their actual green card application until the visas become available again.

The impact of this is that individuals will have to keep extending/renewing their non-immigrant visas, most commonly the O-1 for example, longer than originally anticipated, and pending green card applications will be effectively put on hold until the retrogression ends.

We believe that this will be a short lived retrogression and that the quota will be clear again on October 1, the start of the next government fiscal year.

For questions on how this may affect your case, please contact Managing Partner Michael Wildes at




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