Recently Charlie Oppenheim once again spoke with AILA and updated us on immigrant visa usage numbers. This update also encompasses the updates in the May Visa Bulletin so there will be no separate post about that. Below are the highlights of that update.
Employment Based Categories
In the April Bulletin Charlie moved forward several employment based categories quite a bit. This was done to spur filings and usage of immigrant visas. However, due to the longer timeframes now for adjudicating such cases, it will be months before the usage starts to affect visa numbers. Therefore, for most categories, including EB-1 for China and India, EB-2 India, and EB-3 for China and the Philippines, the dates will hold steady in May. Several other categories will see some forward movement:
EB-2 China will move forward 1 month to September 1, 2014
EB-2 India will move forward 3 months to May 8, 2008
EB-3 Other Workers – China will move forward about 1 month to May 1, 2007
EB-3 Other Workers – India will move forward about 3 month to May 1, 2008
For the future, it is likely that most employment-based final action dates will hold at their May dates for the month of June with some changes possible in July. What occurs is entirely dependent on demand that may materialize, and continuing consultations with USCIS. The wildcard this year that could cause unanticipated fluctuations in the final action dates is the pace of USCIS field office processing of I-485s.
Specifically looking at EB-1 China and India: It is now too early to know whether the high worldwide EB-1 demand seen over the past few months is the result of a processing glut or sustained demand. Because of this, it is likely that EB-1 China and India will hold for at least another month, but Charlie is closely watching demand to determine whether any advancements may be possible.
Lastly, Charlie is hopeful that the advancements made in April to EB-2 China will be sufficient to exhaust the visa numbers in this category, however he continues to monitor China EB-3 downgrades and is likely to hold the final action dates in these categories for at least another month. Despite this, there still remains the possibility of some advancement later this fiscal year if the anticipated demand does not materialize.
Family Based Categories
Below are the Dates for Filing (not the final action dates) for family based categories:
As we have pointed out before, unlike employment based applications, most family-based preference petitions are processed through the National Visa Center and U.S. consulates abroad, which accept applications based on the “filing date” rather than the final action date. As a result, Charlie has excellent visibility into demand in these categories, enabling a slow and steady progression of the final action dates with much less volatility than is seen in the employment-based preference categories.
Final action dates advance modestly in May for all family-based preference categories, except F-1 China, India and Worldwide, which hold at the April dates. There is no retrogression in any of the family-based preference categories in May.
Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.