The July Visa Bulletin has been released by USCIS and Mr. Oppenheim, the DOS employee in charge of the Visa Bulletin has also spoken with the American Immigration Lawyers Association about possible movement of the visa bulletin in the coming months. Below is a summary of both documents.
Family Based Categories:
All family based categories moved forward an average of 1 months for all categories. According to Mr. Oppenheim, this steady forward movement should continue.
Employment Based Categories:
Current for all countries and expected to remain that way for the foreseeable future.
EB-2 for India has stayed at October 1, 2004 but the dates for China jumped from June 1, 2013 to October 1, 2013. According to Mr. Oppenheim there has been increased worldwide demand for the EB-2 category. While the worldwide numbers should hold at current, it is affecting India as “otherwise unused visas” cannot be allocated to India because of the high demand. For this reason, India should hold at its current date. China will continue to progress, but at a slower pace – unless worldwide demand continues to spike.
Worldwide numbers continue to move forward and, according to Mr. Oppenheim should reach the summer of 2015
by the end of September. Unfortunately, the demand created by this forward movement wil not be apparent until October. At that time corrective action MAY be necessary, Mr. Oppenheim is not sure. At this point he feels if such action is necessary it would just be holding the dates steady for a couple of months and not retrogressing, but it will depend upon demand.
For hina, the EB-3 dateswill remain the same throughout the fiscal year, and EB-3 India numbers will move forward a couple of weeks, according to Mr. Oppenheim.
While listed as current in the July bulletin, Mr. Oppenheim says that increased demand will require him to retrogress in five countries by August (most likely). Those countries are: El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and India.
China is the only country backlogged in this category and it is projected to remain this way by Mr. Oppenheim. However, China did see forward movement in July, going from May 1, 2013 to September 1, 2013. Further, Mr. Oppenheim sees this category moving forward some for the rest of the fiscal year, but probably only to November of 2013.
Lastly, according to Mr. Oppenheim, USICS is trying to provide him with a better mechanism of determine visa demand. Right now, Mr. Oppenheim must basically make determination on the fly and based upon historical usage as USCIS does not know demand in any category that is not backlogged (and only knows some of the demand in those categories. Hopefully, they will devise a way to give Mr. Oppenheim more accurate and timely demand numbers so that the dates listed and progression will be less uncertain, and there will be less retrogression. We shall follow this and let you know of any progress in this regard.