EB1 for China and India Backlogging in June, 2017

Unknown.jpegThe June, 2017 Visa Bulletin was released and the biggest change is that both India and China are now backlogged in EB-1 category.  Below are all the changes and further information about this new backlog.  We are also including updates from Charlie Oppenheim from the Department of State on projected future movements for the various immigrant visa categories.

Employment Based Immigrant Visas

EB1:  India and China Backlogged to January 1, 2012.  All other countries Current.  The reason for this backlog are several fold.  First, India and China have already used up about one half of ALL immigrant visas for the EB1 category already.  Second, there has been high usage in EB-4 and EB-5 categories.  Normally, all left over visas from EB-4 and EB-5 will roll over to the EB-1 category (and down to EB-2 if applicable.  However, because of the high usage in those categories, there are no visas to roll over.  Lastly, there has been significantly high demand in the EB-2 category for India and China, which prompts more people from those countries to file EB-1 applications if they can.  At this point, Charlie is very hopeful that India and China will go Current in this category again come October 1, 2017, the beginning of the new fiscal year.

EB2:  China moved forward about a month to March 1, 2013 and India moved forward a little more than 1 week to July 1, 2008.  All other countries are Current.  Right now India and China are both limited to their per country allocation in this category (approximately 2, 810 immigrant visas).  Both are expected to use up their allocations by the end of the fiscal year.  Additionally, worldwide EB2 will backlog by July or August (at the latest) but note, it will go current again come October 1, 2017.

EB3: China held steady at October 1, 2014, India moved forward about 2 months to May 15, 2005 and the Philippines moved forward about four months to May 1, 2013.  All other countries moved forward 1 month to April 15, 2017.  For China, Charlie is keeping it steady on October 1, 2014 for as long as possible.  China may backlog at some point, but Charlie is not certain.  Worldwide demand in this area is fairly steady so it should keep up as it has all year.  India is expected to move forward steadily in this category as long as Worldwide demand, and especially Mexico demand remains as low as it has been.

Family Immigrant Visas

Not much to say here, most categories moved forward about 1 week to 1 month, no more than that.  The only indications that Charlie gave were that F4 (Brothers and Sisters of Citizens) may move forward more significantly this fiscal year.  If you are waiting for that category keep an eye on it in the coming months.

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.

April Visa Bulletin and Guidance from Charlie Oppenheim

imagesThe April Visa Bulletin was released last week as was some additional guidance from Charlie Oppenheim of the Department of State.  I will go through the highlights below.

Family Based Immigration

F1 (Unmarried Sons and Daughters of US Citizens):  Most countries moved from June 1, 2010 to October 15, 2010, a fairly big jump.  The exceptions were Mexico (which moved about 1 week to May 22, 1995) and the Philippines (which moved forward one month to January 15, 2006)

F2A (Spouses and children of Permanent Residents): Most countries moved forward 1 month to June 8, 2015.  The only exception was Mexico, which also moved one month forward to May 22, 2015.

F2B (Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents): Most countries moved forward 1 month to September 15, 2010.  The only exceptions were Mexico (which moved forward 1 month to December 22, 1995) and the Philippines (which moved forward 1.5 months to June 15, 20016).

F3 (Married Sons and Daughters of US Citizens): Most countries moved forward about 3 weeks to May 15, 2005.  The only exceptions were Mexico (which moved forward about 2 weeks to January 8, 1995) and the Philippines (which moved forward about 1 week to September 15, 1994.

F4 (Siblings of US Citizens): Most countries moved forward about 2.5 months to May 8, 2004.  India moved forward only about 3 weeks to August 15, 2003.  Mexico moved forward about 2 weeks to June 15, 1997.  The Philippines moved forward about 1 month to September 8, 1993.

Charlie Oppenheim Guidance:  FB-1, FB-2 and FB-3 are expected to continue to advance at the same pace as this month in the future  because of the low rate at which applicants are becoming documentarily qualified. The FB-4 advancement in April was sufficient to meet Charlie’s target for this category for the next two to three months. This allowed the overall desired allocation level through April to be met, and should prevent excessive allocations once demand in the other categories increases those desired levels. No further advancement of FB-4 Worldwide is expected until July.

Employment Based Immigration

EB1: Current for all countries (but see guidance below for India and China)

EB2: Current for most countries.  China moved forward about 1 month to January 15, 2013 and India moved forward about 3 weeks to June 22, 2008.

Eb3: Worldwide numbers moved forward about two months to February 15, 2017. China moved forward about 5 months to August 15, 2014.  India moved forward 2 days to March 22, 2005 and the Philippines moved forward about 1 month to September 15, 2012.

Charlie Oppenheim Guidance:  

EB-1:  India has already used over 9,000 immigration visas in this category (its per country limit is 2,800) and China has used over 4,500.  There will be backlogs for both of these countries in this category in the near future.

EB-3: At some point Charlie expects there to be more demand for China EB-3 because of the downgrades from EB-2s.  However, to date, this demand has not materialized.  This is why he moved the final action date forward.  You may notice that the Date for Filing for EB-2 China is actually several months behind the Final Action Dates.  As USCIS is using the Final Action Dates, this date is irrelevant.  EB-3 Worldwide will continue to remain about 2 months behind being current.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Update from Charlie Oppenheim on Visa Avalability

unknownAILA met with Charlie Oppenheim (the Department of State Employee in charge of the Visa Bulletin and determining Visa availability) on February 15th of this year.  Below is some of the information Charlie gave us.

EB-1:

According to Charlie, despite the high usage of this category, he is now expecting it to remain current for the Worldwide numbers.  However, as stated previously, he still feels that there will be cut off date imposed for China and India.  In contrast to his earlier prediction of having a cut off date imposed by June or July, he now believes it will be in August (or, perhaps, not at all).  Demand for EB-1s from Indian and Chinese persons has declined from October/November.  If this demand increases again, this may change.

EB-2 and EB-3 for China:

EB-2 will go up about 1 month next month, but EB-3 dates will move forward about 5 monhts.  This will put EB-3 for China about 15 months ahead of EB-2.  Demand for EB-3 is increasing, and the biggest increases usually occur in April and May, so there wil most likely be a retrograde in EB-3 for China at that time.

EB-2 and EB-3 for India:

EB-2 will move forward about 1 month.  As long as there is not significantly higher deman from EB-3 upgrades to EB-2, Charlie sees EB-2 for India moving forward about 1 month every month.

EB-2 and EB-3 Worldwide:

EB-2 is expected to remain current.  EB-3 will continue progressing quickly as demand is still low in this category.

India and China heading towards EB-1 Backlogs – November Check-In With Charlie Oppenheim on Visa Availability

Unknown.jpegThe American Immigration Lawyer’s Association recently met with Charlie Oppenheim of the Department of State about the upcoming year and what the trends look like in terms of immigrant visa availability.  Here is what Charlie said in regards to employment-based visas:

EB-1:

First, in terms of EB-1 Employment-based visas, India has ALREADY surpassed its country allocation for EB-1 visas and is currently using visas otherwise allocated to other countries.  China, while not quite as bad, is also coming close to using all its allocation.  This means that both India and China will be backlogged in the EB-1 category, and probably relatively soon.  EB-1 demand for all other countries is not as great, and there should be no backlogs for All other countries in this category

EB-2 and EB-3:

The final action date for EB-3 China is approximately ten months ahead of the EB-2 China final action date. This has actually been the case for the last few years and tends to spur greater demand for EB-3 China based on requests to “downgrade” from EB-2 China by filing a new I-140 petition based on an existing certified EB-2 labor certification.   Forward movement of the China EB-3 date has been limited because of the expected significant influx of “downgrade” demand, which resulted in retrogression in earlier years. If such demand fails to materialize in the coming months the date will begin to advance at a faster pace.

EB-2 India continues to receive significant demand, which Charlie attributes to EB-3 upgrades.Charlie hopes that this final action date will get into 2009 at some point this fiscal year, but  does not yet have a sense as to how quickly that might occur. There continues to be significant demand for EB-2 Worldwide, and if that continues, it will leave little, if any, otherwise unused numbers to reallocate to EB-2 India. In past years, EB-2 India has often benefitted from the addition of thousands of otherwise unused numbers not required for use by other countries. In terms of EB-3 India numbers, Charlie expects India to hold in January, advance up to one week in February, and hold again for a month or two before advancing modestly again.

Demand has also not abated for EB-2 Worldwide/Mexico/Philippines, causing Charlie to speculate that a date will be imposed no later than July. Charlie has been waiting for some time for demand to be generated in EB-3 Worldwide, which Charlie has been waiting for some time for demand to be generated in EB-3 Worldwide, which has generally been current for more than a year. Charlie is watching demand very closely, and though he has started to see an increase, it is unclear whether this demand will be sustained.

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.

USCIS Agrees to Use Dates For Filing Again in December

unknownSurprisingly USCIS is again using the dates for filing in December of 2106 for all categories EXCEPT for EB-5 filings.   This means that, even though your priority date is not current (i.e. there is no immigrant visa available) you may still be able to file the I-485.  Below are the dates that can be used to determine if you can file you I-485 for certain case types:

Family Based Cases:

F2A:  While all the categories have later dates that can be used, the only one that is close to being current is the F2A (Spouses and children of permanent residents).  Unfortunately the difference in dates is not really that signficant.  The Final Action Date for this category is Fenruary 22, 2015 and the Date for Filing is November 22, 2015.  This means if your priority date is before November 22, 2015 you are now eligible to file your Adjustme of Status application.

Employment Based:

Eb-2:  The Dates for Filing for China are March 1, 2013 about 5 months more current than the Final Action Date.  The Date For Filing for India is April 22, 2009 about 11 months more current that the Final Action Date.

EB-3:  For All Other Areas the Date for Filing is current (as opposed to July, 2016).  For China the Date for Filing is  May 1, 2014 (11 months more current) and for India it is July 1, 2005 (about 4 months more current).  The Philippines is also backlogged in this category – the Date for Filing is September 1, 2013 as opposed to a June 1, 2011 Final Action Date.

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.

December Visa Bulletin: Baby Steps

unknownDOS released the December Visa bulletin and there are only some modest moves forward, as detailed below.  Unfortunately, USCIS has not yet stated if they will still allow the Dates for Filing to be used to determine when you are able to file the adjustment application.  We will update you once USCIS releases that information.  Below we will go through each category in detail

Family Based Applications:

F1Final Action Dates: Moved forward about 2 months to December 1, 2009 for All Other Countries, India and China.   Mexico only moved forward about 1 week to April 15, 1995 and the Philippines moved forward about 1 week as well to September 15. 2005. Dates for Filing: No movement

F2A: Final Action Dates: Everyone moved forward about 1 month to February 22, 2015 (February 15, 2015 for Mexico).  Dates for Filing:  No movement.

F2B: Final Action Dates: All countries moved forward about three weeks to May 8, 2010 except Mexico which moved forward about 1 week to October 15, 1995 and the Philippines which moved forward about 2 weeks to March 1, 2006. Dates for Filing: No movement

F3: Final Action Dates: All countries moved forward about one month to February 15, 2005 except Mexico and the Philippines, which moved forward about 1 week to December 8, 1994 and to August 15, 1994 respectively . Dates for filing: No movement.

F4: Final Action Dates: All other countries moved forward about three weeks to December 22, 2003.  China moved forward two months to October 1, 2003.  India moved forward only about 2 weeks to April 1, 2003.  Mexico moved forward only 1 week to May 15, 1997.  And the Philippines moved forward about 2 weeks to May 22, 1993. Dates for filing: No Movement.

Employment Based Applications:

E1:  Current for everyone

E2: Final Action Dates: Current for everyone except India and China.  China moved forward about 2 months to September 22, 2012.  India moved forward about 3 months to February 1, 2008.

E3:  Final Action Dates: Most countries stayed the same at  July 1, 2016.  China moved forward about 2.5 months to July 1, 2013.  Since China E3 is ahead of China E2, expect this to backlog at some point. India moved forward about 1 week to March 15, 2005 and the Philippines moved forward 2 months to June 1, 2011.

Employment Dates for Filing:  Same as last month – Current across the board EXCEPT:

E2:  China is at March 1, 2013 and India is at April 22, 2009

E3: China is at May 1, 2014 and India is at July 1, 2005

November Visa Bulletin – Some Movement, Dates for Filing Available

unknownDOS released the November Visa bulletin and there has been some forward movement.  Importantly, USCIS is still allowing the Dates for Filing to be used for almost all applications (except EB-5 applications) to determine when you are able to file the adjustment application.  Below we will go through each category in detail.

Family Based Applications:

F1:  Final Action Dates: Moved forward about 1 month to October 2009 for All Other Countries, India and China.   Mexico only moved forward about 1 week to April 8, 1995 and the Philippines moved forward about 1 month to October 2005. Dates for Filing: No change

F2A: Final Action Dates: Everyone moved forward about 1 month to January 22, 2011 (January 8, 2011 for Mexico).  Dates for Filing:  No Movement.

F2B: Final Action Dates: All countries moved forward about one month except Mexico which moved forward about 2 weeks.  All Other Countries, China and India are at April 15, 2010.  The Philippines is at February 15, 2006 and Mexico is at October 8, 1995. Dates for Filing: No movement

F3: Final Action Dates: All countries moved forward about one month except Mexico which moved forward about 2 weeks.  All Other Countries, China and India are at January 22, 2005.  The Philippines is at August 8, 1994 and Mexico is at December 1, 1994. Dates for filing: No movement.

F4: Final Action Dates: All countries moved forward about one month except the Philippines and Mexico which moved forward about 2 weeks.  All Other Countries is at December 1, 2003.  China is at August 1, 2003 and India is at February 15, 2003.  The Philippines is at May 8, 1993 and Mexico is at May 8, 1997. Dates for filing: No Movement.

Employment Based Applications:

E1:  Current for everyone

E2: Final Action Dates: Current for everyone except India and China.  China moved forward about 5 month to July 15, 2012.  India jumped forward about 10 months to November 1, 2007.

E3:  Final Action Dates: Most countries moved forward about 1 month to July 1, 2016.  China moved forward about 3 months to April 15, 2013.  Since China E3 is ahead of China E2, expect this to backlog at some point. India moved forward about 1 week to March 8, 2005 and the Philippines moved forward about 4 months to April 1, 2011.

Employment Dates for Filing:  Current across the board EXCEPT:

E2:  China is at March 1, 2013 and India is at April 22, 2009

E3: China is at May 1, 2014 and India is at July 1, 2005