Charles Oppenheim is the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division within Department of State (DOS). Please see the important details below:
EB2 ROW: Demand for EB2 ROW continues to be significant, especially in the last 5 months. For example: Demand increased by 80% between February and March 2015 and more than 100% between February and April 2015. At this time, EB2 ROW category is estimated to remain current for this fiscal year (since it can use the unused visa numbers from EB4, EB5 and EB1 categories).
EB2 India: As mentioned in the earlier blog post, DOS has started moving dates forward in EB2 India starting from February 2015 Visa Bulletin.
However due to nearly double demand in EB2ROW category, the amount of expected spillover to EB2 India is negligible. Hence EB2 India is not expected to move forward in September visa bulletin.
However if demand decreases in EB2ROW, there is a possibility of EB2 India to move forward. In addition, porting continues from EB3 India to EB2 India category; which could further reduce supply for EB2 India.
By law, EB2 India is limited to quota of around 2,802 visas per year + any spillovers from other EB/FB categories. Estimating demand early can be tricky, especially since demand continues to rise in EB1, EB2, EB3 and EB5 categories. Hence they are slowly moving dates forward instead of a big jump as they did in previous years.
EB3 India: EB3 India is expected to move forward by up to 2 weeks per month. The good news is that since many applicants are porting from EB3 India to EB2 India, the demand in EB3 India will decrease allowing it to move forward faster later.
EB2/EB3 China: Due to significant retrogression in April 2015 visa bulletin for EB3 China and forward movement in EB2 China, EB2 China is finally ahead of EB3 China.
The demand in EB2 China continues to be low, even after it received large forward movement in the last few months. To make sure that all visas will be used up, EB3 China will received unused visa in EB2 China category.
Due to large number of upgrades/downgrades (when EB3 China was ahead of EB2 China) and DOS not having accurate estimate of these upgrades/downgrades, there is no clear visibility on these two categories at this time.
EB3 Philippines: Due to continuous heavy demand in this category, only small forward movement is possible. This may also apply to EB3 Philippines Others Workers category.
EB5 China: Demand from EB5 China applicants has increased significantly resulting in retrogression in May 2015 Visa Bulletin. DOS currently estimate forward movement till November 2013 in this category for the next visa bulletin.
The good news is that law allows spillovers across same categories. This means EB5 China can get visas from other EB5 countries. However this means spillovers to other EB categories (EB2, EB3) will decrease significantly.
There is also possibility of EB5 category using up all its available quota in the FY 2015.
Family Categories: According to DOS, demand in many family categories such as F1, F2A, F3 and F4 has not been "excessive" and hence these categories have continued to move forward.
All Categories: Due to executive action signed by US President Obama, DOS is likely to move dates earlier in the year, instead of waiting till the last quarter of fiscal year; since at that time they can get a more accurate view of demand across all categories and hence can more accurately calculate expected spillovers across EB/FB categories.
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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.
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.
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