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In a series of consolidated appeals, the courts upheld the district courts’ decisions to deny injunctive relief sought by a collective of Indian nationals with approved EB-2 petitions, each entrenched in a protracted visa queue for over a decade. These individuals took legal action to prompt the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process their adjustment of status applications. Notably, their priority dates were current upon filing, yet the Department of State (DOS) subsequently determined that the per-country cap had been reached.

The courts’ definitive ruling inferred that the plaintiffs were unlikely to prevail on the merits of their claims. Central to this decision was the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ argument asserting that 8 CFR §245.2(a)(5)(ii) contravenes Congressional intent by mandating an available immigrant visa before adjudicating an adjustment application.

Crucially, the courts underscored the alignment of the government’s procedures, albeit acknowledged as “understandably frustrating” for the petitioners, with established policy. Furthermore, the court highlighted that DOS’s initial estimation of available immigrant visas did not constitute a binding guarantee.

This legal development in Babaria, et al. v. Blinken, et al. dated December 1, 2023, illuminates the profound ramifications arising from reaching per-country visa caps and its substantial impact on individuals awaiting adjustment of status. It underscores the formidable challenges posed by statutory limitations in the realm of immigration law.

The ruling serves as a stark reminder of the inherent hurdles faced by individuals when the per-country caps impede their progression, despite their priority dates initially aligning. It accentuates the significance of regulatory adherence in navigating the adjustment of status process, even amidst perceived limitations.

As immigration policy discussions evolve, the Babaria et al. ruling calls for a critical examination of visa quota constraints and the pressing need for balanced reforms. It prompts a necessary dialogue aimed at reconciling regulatory adherence with the aspirations of individuals navigating the intricate web of immigration laws.