EB2 India is taking a big hit in visa availability. Checkout the visa bulletin dates for EB2 India from May 2012 to March 2013 below:
May 2012: 15 AUG 2007
June 2012 - Sep 2012: Unavailable
Oct 2012- Mar 2013: 01 SEPT 2004
Apr 2013 - Jun 2013: 01 SEPT 2004 (as predicted by USCIS)
July 2013: 01 SEPT 2004
August 2013: 01 JAN 2008 (most likely)
In the last 9 months, the date has only moved 2 weeks. USCIS has further predicted that the dates may not move at all till June 2013 VB or it may even retrogress further.
What is causing this? The main reason is the supply of visa numbers are fixed by congress to 2800 per country per year in EB2 category. This comes out to 2800/12 = 233 visas per month for EB2 India.
Though the supply of visa numbers is fixed, the demand is not. Due to EB3 to EB2 porting (where people in EB3 category can "upgrade" to EB2), there continues to be high demand for EB2 visas.
Based on the math above, if more than 233 people are upgrading from EB3 to EB2 category every month, the dates for EB2 will not move at all. If demand is much higher than 233 per month, than the dates will retrogress further.
The only thing preventing dates from retrogressing is if it gets spillovers from other categories. DOS has predicted a spillover of 13,000 visas for fiscal year 2013 for EB2 India + China. Since the dates for EB2 china has already reached 2008, most (if not all) of the visa spillovers should go to EB2 India.
Based on EB I-485 pending statistics, there are over 20,000 pending application in EB3 till Sept 2004 and about 700 pending application in EB2 till Sept 2004. This means there is a high chance that dates will move forward for EB2 India between July 2013 and September 2013 visa bulletins.
One of the "advantages" of holding the dates at Sept 2004 for next few months for EB2 India is preadjudication. This means that for most EB2 people who had already submitted their I485 application, USCIS would be working on their application and preadjudicating them. This means their I485 application would be approved and is simply waiting for a visa number to be available. So whenever the dates move forward from Sept 2004, these people with preadjudicated cases will be in front of the line.
After the dates move forward and new people who start applying (including those who upgrade from EB3) will be in the "back" of the line - since the processing time for EB I-485 application is currently 4+ months.
Per the latest update, there is less demand for EB5 China. This means more visas will flow to EB2.
If you are not familiar with spillovers, it means visas unused in other categories will flow "upwards" as follows:
EB4 + EB5 --> EB1 -- > EB2 --> EB2 (India + China) --> EB3
However, EB2 India and China will use up all possible spillovers, so there wont be any spillovers to EB3 category. This is one of the reason many in EB3 are waiting for over 10 years and are eager to upgrade from EB3 to EB2 (from all countries - not just India).
Also if you compare the February 2013 demand data to March 2013 demand data, you will notice that the demand has actually increased from 275 to 300 for PD (priority date) prior to Jan 2005; instead of demand decreasing from 275 to 42 (275-233=42). This means in the last one month, there was demand of 300-42=258 visa numbers in EB2 category till Jan 2005. This numbers keeps increasing for later PD (Jan 2006, Jan 2007, etc). The higher the demand in this table, the less number of visas available to move dates forward - since there is only 233 visas available each month for EB2 India category.
We recommend checking the demand data and I-485 pending inventory every month to get an idea of current demand and hence how much visa would be available. This would give a general idea of how further the dates will move forward each month.
Also there are many immigration bills introduced in congress this year to fix these issues. You can view a list of them here: http://topimmigrationnews.blogspot.com/2013/02/collection-of-latest-immigration-bills.html
Update (Feb 20, 2013):
Please see this article:
EB Category To Receive 18,000 Additional Visas
Update (May 4, 2013):
Did USCIS recently discovered 20,000 more EB2 India cases?
Update (June 3, 2013):
We are holding two contest with prizes on who can guess how far dates for EB2 India would move in July and August 2013 VB. Please see the link below:
Update (June 6, 2013):
According to Charles Oppenheim, EB2 India could move to Feb 2008 in FY 2013.
Update (June 16, 2013):
EB2 India Visa Bulletin Movement from August 2013 to December 2013