Immigrant Visas: July 2015 Priority Dates and Predictions of Future Visa Availability
PRIORITY DATES AND PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY
Each month, the U.S. Department of State publishes its Visa Bulletin, in which it establishes cut-off dates in each immigration category, for each nationality. The recently released Visa Bulletin for July 2015 shows steady advancements in family-based preference categories, while many employment-based categories slow their advancement or remain unchanged.
WHAT IS A PRIORITY DATE?
PRIORITY DATES/ IMMIGRANT VISA AVAILABILITY AS OF July 1, 2015: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin/2015/visa-bulletin-for-july-2015.html
PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY Courtesy of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14071401 (posted June 16, 2015). The information below is based on the discussion between Mr. Charlie Oppenheim of the Department of State’s Visa Office (VO) and AILA’s Liaison Committee regarding current visa demand and projections in various categories. It is important to note that all projections, including those noted in the Visa Bulletin, are subject to change depending on demand that is reported by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) in real time.
Steady Advancement in Family-Based Preference Categories
- Due to relatively light activity in family-based preference categories, cut-off dates have been advancing steadily. For India, China and Worldwide, the July 2015 Visa Bulletin shows a 4-week advancement in F1 to October 1, 2007, a 6-week advancement in F2A to November 8, 2013, a 4-week advancement in F2B to October 15, 2008, a 3-week advancement in F3 to March 15, 2004 and a 6-week advancement in F4 to October 22, 2002. Mexico shows a 5-week advancement in F2A to September 15, 2013 and a one-week advancement in F3 to April 22, 1994, with all other categories unchanged. The Philippines shows a 2-week advancement in F1 to March 15, 2000, a 5-week advancement in F2A to November 8, 2013, a 2-week advancement in F2B to May 15, 2004, a one-week advancement in F3 to August 22, 1993 and a 4-week advancement in F4 to December 8, 1991.
EB-1 and EB-2 Preference Categories
- Given the current level of demand, Mr. Oppenheim anticipates EB-1 and EB-2 Worldwide will remain current for some time and anticipates continued forward (albeit slower) movement for EB-2 China through the end of the fiscal year. EB-2 India remains unchanged in July and Mr. Oppenheim indicated that without a significant reduction in demand for EB-2 Worldwide, EB-2 India will likely hold steady through the remainder of the fiscal year.
EB-3 Preference Category
- EB-3 Worldwide and EB-3 Mexico advances 6 weeks to April 1, 2015 and EB-3 India advances one week to February 1, 2004, while EB-3 China remains unchanged. EB-3 Philippines and “Other Workers” will be unavailable as of July 1. Mr. Oppenheim predicts that there will be little to no movement in EB-3 for the remainder of the fiscal year and due to worldwide demand anticipates taking corrective action by October.
EB-4 Preference Category
- Mr. Oppenheim notes the possibility that cut-off dates may need to be established for Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and India due to increasing demand. If cut-off dates are necessary, Mr. Oppenheim indicates that they will be reflected in the August Visa Bulletin.
EB-5 China Advancement
- EB-5 China advances by 4 months to September 1, 2013, and Mr. Oppenheim anticipates possible advancement into November 2013 by the end of the fiscal year.
Efforts to Increase Coordination with USCIS
- Mr. Oppenheim mentions that USCIS is currently exploring ways in which to provide the Visa Office with greater detail regarding cases currently pending at USCIS, which would assist the Visa Office in providing more accurate forecasting of visa availability.
Should you have any questions regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact your LAC attorney.
This news update was prepared by Justin Walters, Senior Paralegal, Larrabee Albi Coker LLP.