Immigrant Visas — Priority Dates and Predictions

19:49 17 September in News Updates



The new federal fiscal year will begin on October 1, 2014, and with that comes the next infusion of immigrant visa numbers. These numbers will be applied to the quota backlogs, but the end availability remains impacted by current visa usage.

What is a Priority Date?


PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY   Courtesy of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14071401 (posted September 11, 2014). The information 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.

EB-2 India – Quota for FY2014 has been reached

  • EB-2 India visas are “unavailable” until October 1, 2014.
  • USCIS offices will continue to accept and process EB-2 India cases with priority dates earlier than May 1, 2009 during the month of September. However, instead of being acted upon immediately, those cases will be held in the Visa Office’s “Pending Demand” file until October 1, 2014, at which time they will be authorized

EB-2 India – Retrogression is imminent

  • For the month of October 2014 the priority date for EB-2 India is May 1, 2009
  • Given current demand, Mr. Oppenheim expects the priority date to retrogress significantly, possibly to early 2005 by November 2014
  • The main reason for the expected retrogression is the high number of EB-3 to EB-2 upgrades for Indian-born applicants

EB-5 China

  • EB-5 China numbers were depleted through September 30, 2014 (the end of the federal fiscal year)
  • EB-5 China is current as of the October 2014 Visa Bulletin
  • Mr. Oppenheim predicts a cut-off date will be imposed during the second half of the fiscal year, possibly as early as May. Per the Liaison Committee: “This prediction is based on the assumption that USCIS will continue to issue approvals of EB-5 petitions at the current rate, as well as an assumption that a significant portion of the more than 5,000 applicants with approved EB-5 petitions at the National Visa Center (NVC) will come forward to be processed. It is also likely that more applicants will come forward to finalize action on their cases as we enter the final year of the three-year regional center pilot program. It is hoped that sufficient demand data will be available in January which will help in predicting future movement in this category.”

  Philippines – all categories

  • Demand for both employment-based and family-based visas continues to decrease, accounting for the advancing priority dates.
  • Mr. Oppenheim indicated that though demand is low and dates will remain favorable for the foreseeable future, this may change if many more applicants come forward to claim immigrant visas.

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