Friday, March 8, 2013

Analysis: Demand Data For April 2013 Visa Bulletin

For April 2013 Demand Data, please click here:

Demand Data Analysis:

Every month each country in each category is eligible to get 233 visas (7% * 28.6% * 140,000)/12. This does not include the 18,000 additional spillover from FB category to EB category.

EB2 India: Till Jan 2005, the numbers went up from 300 to 375. This means there was 375-300+233=308 cases ported. The porting rate is remaining constant around 300 cases per month in EB2 India category. However till Jan 2007, the porting cases increased by 2050-1650+233=633 cases. So we are seeing a big increase in this period. However if you look at dates till Jan 2012, the number decreased by 425 cases. This could be either due to (a) EB2 India porting to EB1 category or (b) those cases were withdrawn/abandoned/rejected or (c) USCIS is doing "spring cleaning" and making the data more accurate (based on the available and updated information each month).

Also this "demand destruction" could be due to multiple things: People changing jobs and filing the PERM again (not porting but starting the entire process again), people getting laid off and going back home, people abandoning their GC process because of frustration, people going back home due to better opportunities, multiple PERMs like husband and wife both have PERMs filed, people updating to EB1, people getting married to EB2ROW candidates (or GC holders, US citizens etc).

EB2 China:  The demand prior to Jan 2009 has decreased  by 475 (3,450 to 2,975). Since there is no demand in EB2 China before Jan 2009, all of FB/EB spillover should be applied to EB2 India category (which is backlogged till Sept 2004).

EB2 ROW: The demand in this category is fixed at 150 till Jan 2012. We do not know the demand from Jan 2012 to March 2013. If the annual demand this fiscal year is much higher than 34,436 (40040-2802-2802 for EB2 ROW-India-China) or 34436/12=2870 per month, than this category would retrogress.

Charles Oppenheim had hinted on this category possibly retrogressing if demand is higher. If EB2 ROW retrogresses (before FB/EB spillover is applied), then EB2 India and EB2 China will become unavailable. This is because India and China are the top two countries consuming visas and hence they would use up their quota before the rest of world does.

EB3 Category: As expected the numbers (demand) in EB3 category across all countries have decreased by few hundred to few thousands. This could be due to (a) I-485 application approved (b) porting to EB2 category (for all countries, not just India and China) or (c) application was withdrawn/abandoned/rejected. Since the demand is known, EB3 category (all countries) will continuously move ahead this fiscal year at rate of one to six weeks per month.

Another interesting statistics is EB3 China. Unlike EB2 China, there is not much demand in EB3 China category till Jan 2012. This is interesting because demand from China has/had increased in EB1, EB2 and EB5 categories.

Conclusion: If porting demand from EB3 India to EB2 India continues at current rate of 300 per month (or 3600 per year), it would quickly use up the 2802 annual quota for EB2 India (excluding any spillovers). Similarly EB2 India could retrogress if porting demand is higher and before FB/EB spillovers is applied.

The latest demand data includes demand only till Dec 31, 2011. Based on Charles Oppenheim latest predictions, demand has increased in almost all categories. However the demand data does not include demand for last 15 months (Jan 2012 to March 2013). Hence it would be hard to predict how much FB and EB spillovers would be allocated to EB2 India this fiscal year. Due to this heavy demand, DOS would probably wait till July to allocate these spillovers.

Also demand data (and I-485 pending inventory) does not include demand from US consulates around the world (also called consular processing). Consular processing account for about 15% of total 140,000 visas in EB category. Also the demand data (and I-485 pending inventory) does not include applicants (and their dependents) who have approved I-140 but have not yet filed I-485 application. Hence actual demand is around 15% higher than that posted in monthly demand data.

Update: DOS has released waiting list:

If you are not aware, spillovers  refers to visas in other categories (EB4, EB5, EB1) that DOS thinks would not be used up this fiscal year. Per law, any unused visas would flow to retrogressed categories in this order: EB4 + EB5 --> EB1 --> EB2 -- > EB3.

Unused visas also fall across the category to most retrogressed country. Example: EB2 ROW --> EB2 India

Before assigning spillovers, Charles Oppenheim (DOS Chief)  has to make a best and worst case estimate of how many visas will be unused per category this fiscal year. Due to fluctuating demand in EB2, he might wait till July to assign expected spillovers (else if his estimates are incorrect, many people in EB4, EB5 and EB1 category may not get the visas - though they would only have to wait few more months before the next fiscal year starts). Also if his spillover estimates are higher, he may retrogress dates in September Visa Bulletin to make sure that visa count stays within permissible limits. Hopefully this article gives a quick overview of how things work "behind the scenes" and help answer your questions.

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