The US Dept. of State has released the January visa numbers and the dates have retrogressed further. Also, FB-1 & FB-2A cases for the Philippines have been added to the retrogression.
The January Visa Bulletin can be found at http://travel.state.gov/visa/bulleti...etin_5212.html
The new numbers:
FB-1 June 1, 1994 (previously April 1, 1997, in December)
FB-2A Jan 1, 2008 (previously Aug 1, 2010, in December)
FB-2B May 15, 1999 (previously Sept 1, 2002, in October)
FB-3 Oct 22, 1991 (previously Mar 1, 1995, in October)
FB-4 Jan 1, 1988 (previously April 1, 1991, in October)
This means a much longer wait for an Immigrant Visa than many had hoped.
Priority Date. A persons ‘place in line' for an immigrant visa is determined by their "Priority Date" (PD). For family cases, the PD is the date the petition was filed with USCIS.
The Visa Bulletin is published monthly by the DOS to show who is eligible to be assigned Immigrant Visa numbers.
Cutoff Dates. The Visa Bulletin shows the "cutoff dates" for visa issuance by category and country. Normally, the cutoff dates stay the same or go forward in time every month.
Using the Visa Bulletin. If your PD is earlier (not ‘on or before', but earlier) then the cutoff date shown in the Visa Bulletin for your category, an Immigrant Visa is available for you beginning on the first day of the month shown at the top of the Visa Bulletin. When this happens, it is said that your "priority date is current". If your PD is on or later then the date on the visa bulletin for your category, you are still in line to receive an Immigrant Visa.
Retrogression is when the cutoff date in the Visa Bulletin goes back in time instead of forward in time. With a retrogression, a person with a current priority date one month can find that their priority date is no longer current. Retrogressions can be caused by several different circumstances. No matter what the reason, they are never happy times. Persons who thought that the wait was almost over are thrown back into uncertainty.
For how long? This retrogression was expected because of some unusual events at the end of FY2010. How long it will last, no one can tell you. The Dept. of State says that further retrogression is possible. Hopefully it will only last for a few months, but sometimes they run for years. For example, the FB-3 category (married sons and daughters of US Citizens) for Mexico has similar characteristics with Philippines FB-3, and Mexican FB-3 has been in retrogression for almost four years!
Sorry for the length. I hope this helps provide some understanding of the situation.