Before discussing the visa bulletin for November, I just wish to apologize for the absence of posts in the last couple of months. In the future I shall make sure that there are no more long pauses such as the one that occurred and will ensure that I am able to get out relevant information to all my readers in a timely manner. Thank you.
The November Bulletin had some movement (mostly) in both Family and Employment Categories. Let’s take a look at employment categories first. Please do note that were dates are given for “All Other Countries” this includes not just that general category, but all other individually listed countries that are at the same dates (such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – which are listed out separately but track with All Other Countries in most instances).
Employment Based Cases
EB-1: This category moved from April 22, 2018 to June 1, 2018 for All Other Countries. For China, it moved forward from November 1, 2016 to February 1, 2017 (quite a jump) and for India there was no movement as it stayed at January 1, 2015. According to USCIS Dates for Filing may be used for this category – this means that those in the US may file their I-485 if the priority date of the I-140 is before July 1, 2019 for All Other Countries, September 1, 2017 for China and March 15, 2017 for India.
EB-2: This category remained Current for All Other Countries. China moved forward from January 1, 2015 to March 15, 2015. India went from May 12, 2009 to May 13, 2009. According to USCIS Dates for Filing may be used for this category – this means that those in the US may file their I-485 if the priority date of the I-140 is before August 1, 2016 for China and July 1, 2009 for India.
EB-3: This category remained current for All Other Countries. China and India both had no movement – China staying at November 1, 2015 and India staying at January 1, 2009. According to USCIS Dates for Filing may be used for this category – this means that those in the US may file their I-485 if the priority date of the I-140 is before March 1, 2017 for China and February 1, 2010 for India.
Family Based Cases
FB-1: This category moved forward from January 15, 2013 to March 1, 2013 for All Other Areas. Mexico stayed at August 8, 1997 and the Philippines moved froward from July 1, 2008 to September 15, 2008.
FB-2A: This category remained Current for ALL Countries.
FB-2B: This category moved forward from June 1, 2014 to July 8, 2014 for All Other Countries. Mexico moved forward from August 1, 1998 to August 22, 1998. The Philippines moved forward from September 1, 2008 to October 1, 2008.
FB-3: This category moved forward from September 15, 2007 to October 15, 2007 for All Other Countries. Mexico had no movement, staying at February 22, 1996 and the Philippines moved forward from April 1, 1998 to June 1, 1998.
FB-4: This category moved forward from November 22, 2006 to January 1, 2007 for All Other Countries. India moved forward slightly from October 1, 2004 to October 15, 2004 while Mexico had no movement, staying at December 15, 1997. The Philippines moved forward from July 8, 1998 to September 1, 1998.
According to USCIS Dates for Filing should be used for all categories EXCEPT for FB-2A (which is current under Final Action Dates, but actually has a cut-off for Dates for Filing). The Dates for Filing are generally a couple months ahead of the dates listed above (which are the Final Action Dates). Please contact us if you have any questions in this regard.
UPDATE FROM CHARLIE OPPENHEIM
Family Based Cases
For family based cases, the F2A Final Action Date, which became current in July 2019, remains current across all countries for November. This trend has been surprising because Charlie expected that there would be a surge in demand which would have required imposition of a Final Action Date no later than January. The demand for F2A across countries remains extremely low, with applicants not responding to the agent of choice letters, and at this time there is no indication that a date will need to be imposed in the near future.
Employment Based Cases
EB-1: You should expect to see the EB-1 categories advance at up to three months for Worldwide and China, and little if any forward movement for India. India will not advance for some time since there is already significant number use and pending demand in that category (17% usage already for Q1). Overall usage in this category (For Worldwide numbers), however, shows lower demand than previous years. If this low demand trend continues, then EB-1 (for All Countries other than India and China) could return to Current at some point later in the year.
EB-2: EB-2 Worldwide remains current for November and is expected to remain current for the foreseeable future. Charlie is starting to see an increase in upgrades from EB-3 India to EB-2 India, with the numbers requested so far in October most likely being attributable to upgrade requests.
Given that the Final Action Date for EB-3 China (November 1, 2015) is eight months ahead of EB-2 China, it is likely to prompt downgrades which could take the pressure off of EB-2 China demand, causing that category to advance.
EB-3: The EB-3 category bears watching as we continue to move into Q2 of the fiscal year and beyond. Charlie is very surprised at the high level of numbers used in this category this fiscal year as well as pending demand for this category, noting that it is significantly higher than it has been in the past to the tune of thousands. Nevertheless, Charlie still expects EB-3 Worldwide to remain current through at least January. EB-3 China is receiving a high level of downgrade requests, with 300 requests in October alone. If this trend continues it will limit the advancement of EB-3 China while potentially increasing the rate of advancement for EB-2 China. Expect little to no movement for EB-3 India.
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.