Thursday, January 3, 2013

Updated: Visa Bulletin Prediction For 2013

Important: If you haven't read it, please see the Visa Bulletin Prediction For 2013 By USCIS:

Jan - Mar 2013:
Apr - Jun 2013:
July - Oct 2013:

Several attorneys (Murthy, CILaw, etc) attended the meeting with Charles Oppenheim, the Chief of the DOS Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division on October 24, 2012 in Washington DC. An outline follows, which shares Mr. Oppenheim's expectations and analysis for all employment-based (EB) categories for FY13.


Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1) Likely to Remain Current for All

The DOS expects that the EB1 category will remain current for all of FY13 regardless of the country of chargeability. The usage of EB1 numbers is important with respect to predictions of movement in EB2 for India and China. Unused EB1 numbers are made available to oversubscribed countries in EB2. Thus, the volume of usage of EB1 numbers is a primary factor in the movement of the EB2 India and China cutoff dates.

In FY11, demand for EB1 numbers dropped by more than 25,000. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expected a similar pattern in FY12, and advised the DOS accordingly. This led the DOS to expect 12,000 to 15,000 excess EB1 numbers, which the DOS factored in when they advanced the EB2 India and China cutoff dates rapidly in FY12. The excess numbers did not materialize, due to an upswing in EB1 demand in FY12. This is important in FY13, as the DOS expects the high demand for EB1 to continue in FY13. This impacts the amount of excess numbers that will be available to shift into EB2 during FY13.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2): All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

The EB2 category for All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed or Rest of the World (ROW) is expected to remain current for the remainder of FY13. The DOS is seeing a noticeable number of EB2 worldwide cases with priority dates in 2010 and 2011, in addition to more recent cases. There is a significant trend toward "upgrading" through EB3-to-EB2 cases within the EB2 ROW category.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2): India

The DOS has received more than 20,000 EB2 India cases from USCIS that are awaiting issuance of visa numbers. Under the current system, once the USCIS reviews a case and finds it appropriate for approval, the USCIS makes an automated request to the DOS for a visa number. If no number is available, the request is held by the DOS, awaiting action once a visa number for the particular case and priority date becomes available. These cases are referred to as preadjudicated.

DOS does not anticipate being able to advance the EB2 India cutoff date any time soon. However, there is an expectation that there will be some forward movement during FY13. The estimate given as a best case scenario is that, by the end of FY13, EB2 India's cutoff date will advance to a new cutoff date, set at some point in early 2008.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2): China

The cutoff dates for EB2 China are expected to advance a few weeks each month during FY13. There is a potential for somewhat greater advancement in this category. No estimate was given for a cutoff date expected to be reached by the end of the FY13 for China.


Excess Visa Numbers Estimated for EB2 India and China

Overall, the expectations are that EB2 India and China will benefit from some excess visa numbers shifting from EB1 and EB2 ROW. However, the volume of such excess is expected to be even less in FY13 than it was in FY12. In FY12, EB2 India and China each received approximately 19,000 visa numbers. The vast majority of these were due to shifting excess numbers into EB2 India and China.

At this time, the DOS estimates that a total of 13,000 visa numbers will be available to EB2 India and China in FY13. This is subject to change - either up or down - depending upon the usage in the other categories, as explained here.

Continue reading Part 2:


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