September 2017 Immigrant Visa Priority Dates; 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. Among the notable developments in the recently released Visa Bulletin for September 2017 is the continued advancement of the cut-off date for EB-3 India and a nine-month progression of the EB-2 Worldwide cut-off date.
PRIORITY DATES/ IMMIGRANT VISA AVAILABILITY AS OF SEPTEMBER 1, 2017: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-for-september-2017.html
PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY: Courtesy of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14071401 (posted August 16, 2017). 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.
- Contrary to Mr. Oppenheim’s prior prediction that EB-2 Worldwide would remain unchanged or even possibly retrogress prior to the new fiscal year, the September Visa Bulletin shows a nine-month advancement of the EB-2 Worldwide preference category, from April 1, 2015 to January 1, 2016. Mr. Oppenheim did note yet again that he expects the cut-off date for EB-2 Worldwide to be lifted completely as of October 1.
EB-2 and EB-3 India
- Demand for EB-3 to EB-2 India “upgrade” requests failed to materialize at the anticipated levels and therefore EB-2 India advances one month in September from July 22, 2008 to August 22, 2008. Mr. Oppenheim indicated that movement for EB-2 India will likely be slow in fiscal year 2018 (which begins October 1), estimating advancements at a pace of two-to-three weeks per month, with a possibility of breaking through into 2009 by the second half of the fiscal year. EB-3 India advances three months, from July 15, 2006 to October 15, 2006 and Mr. Oppenheim indicated that he expects movement of EB-3 India to slow to a pace similar to that of EB-2 India beginning next month.
EB-1 China and India
- The cut-off dates for the EB-1 China and EB-1 India preference categories will remain fixed at January 1, 2012 in September however the cut-off dates should be removed beginning next month. Mr. Oppenheim indicated that he expects these preference categories to remain clear into the summer of 2018.
- The cut-off date for EB-3 Philippines advances five months in September, from June 1, 2015 to November 1, 2015. Mr. Oppenheim predicts that demand in this preference category will remain relatively low through the end of the calendar year.
Should you have any questions regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact your LAC attorney.