Monday, September 9, 2013

Analysis: October 2013 Visa Bulletin

For September 2013 Visa Bulletin, please click here:

For October 2013 Visa Bulletin, please click here:

As many of you know FY 2014 starts on Oct 1. USCIS does not publish real time data on actual demand by category/country. They do not publish demand data (or I485 pending inventory) for FB category. For EB category, the last demand data published was in June 2013.

Since July 2013 demand data (published in June 2013), they have not released any new numbers (except for I-485 pending inventory with July 2013 data).

EB1: All EB1 categories are current and should continue to remain current. Demand is increasing at rate of around 1000 every month. Though there is very high demand in EB1 India category, it is likely to remain current since it will receives spillover visas from other EB1 categories, also called "fall across" spillovers.

EB2 ROW: This category continues to remain current. Surprisingly demand in EB2ROW is actually decreasing. This is good news for EB2 India and China, as they could get a higher spillovers in FY 2014 compared to FY 2013.

EB2 India: EB2 India did not move at all. There was three possible date movements we had listed for EB2 India. DOS decided to go with option 2 and hold dates steady. This will help them accurately estimate porting demand (people porting from EB3 to EB2) and at the same time apply spillovers in Oct VB (instead of waiting till July VB).

The demand is EB2 India is expected to increase by few thousands as new applicants file I-485 and EB3 India applicants ports to EB2 India. Majority of these movements in EB2 India is due to 18,000 visas spillover from FB category in FY13. Movement in EB2 India in FY 2014 may not be that high if it does not receive enough spillovers.

EB2 China: As expected, EB2 China have started moving forward. It moved forward by 5 weeks and it is likely to move forward by1.5 months in next VB. Due to higher demand, EB2 China will continue to remain behind EB3 China for a while.

EB3 ROW: As expected, EB3 ROW did not move forward in this VB. It moved forward 3 years from April to Sept VB. It is unlikely to move forward this year (2013) and is likely to retrogress in Nov/Dec VB if demand is higher.

The reason they moved the dates so far is to build pipeline of cases. Once they have enough demand, they will retrogress date so that they do not allocate more than the quota set by law (around 10,000 per quarter).

EB3 China: EB3 China also did not move forward. It is likely that EB3 China dates would continue to be ahead of EB2 China for next 4-6 months (unless demand is very high in EB3 category in which case EB3 China could start retrogressing, since EB3 ROW would retrogress).

EB3 Mexico: Similarly EB3 Mexico also did not move forward in this VB.

Dates for EB3 China and EB3 Mexico should continue to be same as EB3 ROW.

EB3 India: Since dates moved forward by 8 months in last VB, DOS did not move EB3 India dates in this VB. They are currently estimating demand in this category by holding the dates steady. There is still small possibility of retrogression in next VB.

Unlike China, EB3 India is not likely to move ahead of EB2 India due to huge backlog. Even if everyone ported from EB3 to EB2, their application would be open in both categories (and Charles Oppenheim from Visa Office has confirmed that they are been counted twice).

EB3 Philippines: This category moved forward by 2 weeks. This is good news since there was a possibility of retrogression (due to large forward date movement in last VB).

EB4: This category continues to remain current.

EB5: This category continues to remain current.

Demand in EB4 and EB5 is currently very low. Hence EB2 category can expect a bigger spillover in FY 2014.

Family Categories:

F1 Philippines: Forward date movements have slowed down considerably in this category. It moved forward by only 3 weeks. It had moved forward by 3 years from Feb to Sept VB.

F2A Category: As expected F2A category has retrogressed in Oct VB. The good news is that it only retrogressed by few weeks to Sept 2013. For no apparent reason, Mexico continues to be one week behind other countries.

There has been a large amount of visas wasted in this category in FY2009, FY 2010 and FY 2012. To prevent this waste, DOS has made this category as "Current" in August and September VB. This helped them build a "pipeline" of cases after applicants file I-485 applications (or CP cases). Since enough demand has been generated, it has retrogressed back. Please see article for more details.

F3 ROW/China/India: Due to heavy demand, these categories did not move at all.

All other FB categories moved between 1 to 5 weeks.

Tip: Charles Oppenheim creates and publishes the monthly visa bulletin. He works at Department of State (DOS) and is the Chief of "Visa Control and Reporting Division".

Did you know: Every year move than 1 million visas are allotted. Family based categories get 66% - whereas employment based categories get only 14%. Learn more statistics here.

Also See:

Recommended Reading:

Please click here for latest immigration news or see the right side menu for the latest analysis, news stories and other useful FAQ or USCIS links --> 


  1. AS always awesome analysis by Amazon!! Great jb

  2. Good and timely analysis!

    I'm an EB2 India applicant with priority date Jul 7th 2008. Depending on porting demand when do you foresee any forward movement for EB2 India?

    Could India's EB2 fall behind EB3, just like China?

    1. Most likely next year. EB3 India will not move ahead of EB2 India (more details in blog post above).

  3. Hi Amazon

    I am a green card holder. I am planning to file F2A for my fiance (getting married this week) in month of Sept. She is on F1 visa here in US. I am assuming it is still current in Sept, planning to file concurrently for I130, 485 and EAD and AP for all together.
    - can we still do that? Cut off date of 8-Sept for Oct bulletin is bit confusing me.

    - can we expect atleast to get EAD and AP in next few months as I understand visa number wont be available for our case for several months depending upon how November bulletin comes out. please advise your thoughts.

    1. Yes you can file all the applications above before October 1.

      If you file after October 1, you can only file I-130.

      Yes, you can expect to get EAD/AP in around 3 months. You can check out the current processing time in GC tracker:

    2. There are lots of people in the forum who can also help.

  4. Amazon,

    Do you have any prediction for EB2 India in November bulletin? Thanks to you for your helpful analysis!!

    1. Please see blog post below:

  5. I didn't understand very good the cut-off dates . could someone help?
    My PD is 6/21/13 under F2A does that mean that it includes me or not?

    1. The October visa bulletin includes all PD before Sept 2013.

  6. My PD is August, 09 EB3 ROW. I'm just sending my stuff to USCIS. Do you think it's possible that it will retrogress and I'll have to wait again? I mean I wouldn't think that it will retrogress almost a year...

    1. Yes, EB3 ROW is likely to retrogress. We will have to wait for new data from USCIS to estimate how far dates could move.

    2. If demand is still lower than what USCIS expected, it could actually move forward.

  7. why is that no prediction for November visabulletin has been released?

  8. hello everyone I want to inquire of u about the time period it will take for our immigration petition applied in July 2004 to come. I think so that the procedure should increase as there r few applicants after the 9/11 attack for at least 6 months

  9. F4 category for above one

  10. amazon what do you mean for country limit of 7%? for example : phils f2a how many visas are alloted per year ? thank u


Comment Posting Tips:

1. To estimate when priority date can be current, please see this GC Calculator:

2. View or add your I-130/I-485/NVC case to GC Tracker:

3. You can browse or post new questions in GC Forum:

Comments posted above will only appear in this blog post. Comments posted below will appear across all blog posts:

comments powered by Disqus