Immigrant Visas — September 2016 Priority Dates; Predictions of Future Visa Availability

20:13 22 August in News Updates


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 September 2016 shows a few months of forward movement for EB-2 and EB-3 India, while EB-2 and EB-3 China remain unchanged from August’s cut-off dates.  The cut-off date for EB-2 Worldwide remains approximately two years behind the cut-off date for EB-3 worldwide. 

WHAT IS A PRIORITY DATE?                            


PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY    Courtesy of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).  AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14071401 (posted August 12, 2016).  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.

EB-2 and EB-3 India – Slight Forward Movement and Projections for FY 2017

  •   On September 1, the cut-off date for EB-2 India advances from November 15, 2004 to February 22, 2005 and EB-3 India advances from November 8, 2004 to February 15, 2005.  Mr. Oppenheim anticipates that EB-2 India will likely advance to an early 2007 cut-off at the beginning of the 2017 Fiscal Year next month, and that EB-3 India will continue its slow-but-steady advancement from its current 2005 cut-off date.

EB-2 and EB-3 China – Likely Return of EB-3 “Downgrade” Requests  

  •   While September’s Visa Bulletin shows no movement for EB-2 and EB-3 China cut-off dates, Mr. Oppenheim predicts the EB-2 China cut-off date will advance to late 2011 or early 2012 in October.  However, he predicts that EB-3 China will advance further to that of a late 2012 or early 2013 cut-off date.  As such, Mr. Oppenheim is anticipating a return of EB-3 “Downgrade” requests for the foreseeable future until such requests balance out the demand between EB-2 and EB-3.

EB-2 Worldwide

  •  Mr. Oppenheim anticipates EB-2 Worldwide, which is currently behind EB-3 Worldwide by more than 2 years, will once again be current on October 1, thus avoiding the same downgrade phenomenon noted above between the EB-2 and EB-3 China categories.

EB-1 China and India

  •  Mr. Oppenheim also notes that this should be the final month for the cut-off dates in the EB-1 China and India categories, as both are expected to become current again on October 1.

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
Legal Disclaimer:   This e-blast is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice based on the circumstances of a specific matter.  Immigration laws and policies change frequently, often without notice.  It is therefore important to seek direct legal counsel based upon individual circumstances.

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