The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recently met again with Charles Oppenheim to discuss the demand and expected movements in various visa bulletin categories.
Charles Oppenheim is the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division within Department of State (DOS).
Please see the important details below:
F2A All Countries: F2A category has retrogressed to 15MAR11 for Mexico and 01MAY12 for all other countries. F2A category is expected to move forward as far as Fall 2012 in September or October visa bulletin.
EB3 China: This category which has retrogressed by around 6 years is expected to move forward to 01NOV08 in August visa bulletin. Note: This category already moved forward to this date in August visa bulletin.
Initially EB3 China had very low demand. After huge forward movement, the demand increased significantly (including people porting from EB2 China to EB3 China). This resulted in heavy retrogression. After the retrogression, the demand decreased significantly, in addition to low demand in family based category. This resulted in dates moving forward by around 2 years in EB3 China category.
EB2 India: This category is expected to retrogress around November visa bulletin (as many of you are already expecting). There are many blog posts linked on the right side of this page which explains this in more details.
EB5 China: Due to continuous heavy demand in this category, DOS may have to retrogress dates for EB5 China sometimes in FY 2015.
Note: Most likely this may not happen because it can use the spillover from other EB5 countries (where demand is much lower).
Quick Note For All Categories:
When dates move forward, it takes time for USCIS to process all application and then request a visa number from DOS. Hence there could be a big delay (4-8 months) from the time USCIS receives application to when DOS can estimate actual demand.
Earlier, we have seen that USCIS sometimes reported low numbers, even when demand was higher. This resulted in significant retrogression when the real demand was calculated by DOS.
Also when applicants upgrade or downgrade application, they are counted twice. There is currently no way for DOS to identify these duplicates. Hence identifying the real demand can be very hard and may result in visas been wasted at the end of fiscal year.