The DOS released the September Visa Bulletin and the EB2 categories for India and PRC showed no forward movement whereas the EB3 categories for all countries once again showed slow but, steady movement forward. It is not uncommon for the final Visa Bulletin of the fiscal year to show some slow-down or even retrogression so there should not be too much read into the lack of movement in Sept. dates for EB2 categories.
The USCIS has released their I-485 Inventory Report of pending cases as of January 2011. The USCIS I-485 Inventory Report displays the total number of pending adjustment of status applications, per preference category, priority date and per country. The USCIS also issued separate charts for India, China, Mexico and the Philippines as those countries historically have higher demand for visas and reach their yearly quota. The Inventory Report shows a total of 44,475 EB2 cases and 127,493 EB3 cases. However, the breakdown by country is most interesting: EB2 (2nd Preference) EB3 (3rd Preference) Total 44,475 127,493 Philippines 807 9,734 India 24,628 58,440 China 10,912 4,140 Mexico 231 7,552 All Others 7,897 47,627 Also, the breakdown by priority date shows 2007 as the first year where the number of EB2 and EB3 cases are almost equal (15,918 EB2 cases and 16,711 EB3 cases). This compares to a disparity of 18,850 EB2 cases to 37,412 EB3 cases with 2006 priority dates and a huge disparity of 774 EB2 cases to 29,567 EB3 cases with 2005 priority dates. Keep in mind that the world-wide level for employment-based green cards is at least 140,000 per year. The breakdown by country and category is significant because the first preference, second preference and third preference categories each get 28.6% of the overall limit and there is a per-country limit of 7% of the overall total. Any unused numbers from a category trickle down to the next lower category and across the countries in that category. The I-485 Inventory Chart can not be used as a sole basis for predicting visa availability. Instead, one must also consider the NVC Inventory Report (last issued in the Fall 2010), the pending I-140 cases categorized by country and priority date, the approved I-140 cases since summer 2007 (the last time of full visa [...]