United States: EB-2, EB-3 & EB-5 China Priority Dates And EB-2 India – Visa Office on Priority Dates, Demand, And Predictions

Last Updated: January 12 2015
Article by Alka Bahal

Charles ("Charlie") Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, shares his analysis of current trends and future projections for the various immigrant preference categories with AILA (the American Immigration Lawyers' Association). 

Below are highlights from the most recent "check-in with Charlie", reflecting his analysis of current trends and future projections for the various immigrant preference categories.

When Might We Expect to Learn More About EB-5 China Movement?

Charlie is confident that a cut-off date will be established for EB-5 China and it is just a matter of when it will occur. He is in constant dialogue with USCIS' EB-5 office and Guangzhou and hopes to have enough information to be able to estimate when the cut-off is most likely to occur by the beginning of February. If so, expect more information in the March Visa Bulletin, which will be published in the second week of February 2015.

EB-2/EB-3 China Priority Dates and EB-3 Downgrades.

The China EB-2 cut-off date moved from January 1, 2010 in the December Visa Bulletin to February 1, 2010 in the January Visa Bulletin. The China EB-3 cut-off date advanced much more dramatically from June 1, 2010 in December to March 1, 2011 in January, but is advancing more slowly than it had in late 2013 and early 2014. The Visa Office expects China EB-3 to continue to advance, until demand begins to increase significantly.

With the EB-3 China cut-off date for January 13 months later than the EB-2 China cut-off date, the Visa Office expects a surge in demand for China EB-3 over the coming months due to EB-2 China beneficiaries filing EB-3 "downgrade" petitions with USCIS. This expected surge in EB-3 demand will ultimately slow advancement, and will most likely result in the retrogression of the China EB-3 cut-off date at some point. Keep in mind that the Visa Office has no visibility to downgrades until such time as USCIS requests a visa number.  These are categories to continue to watch closely.

Will Executive Action Have Any Impact on Priority Dates?

It is not anticipated that the executive action recently announced by the Obama Administration will impact cut-off date movement.  The announcement outlined broad plans for preregistration of adjustment of status applications for individuals whose priority dates are not current.  As this would be limited to USCIS filings and would not render these individuals eligible for an immediate visa number, it would not impact priority dates.  The Visa Office is nevertheless in communication with USCIS regarding the administrative impact of these filings on USCIS workflows and on the system USCIS and DOS have for maintaining the pending demand file.

Executive action promises increased coordination between USCIS and DOS.  Interagency cooperation has been occurring for some time and the Visa Office looks forward to any initiatives which would further enhance information sharing between the agencies.

EB-2 India

The EB-2 India cut-off date has remained steady at February 15, 2005 since November 2014.  Historically, there has been no movement of EB-2 India prior to the summer when information about unused visa numbers from other categories can be more accurately predicted.  The Visa Office is considering whether to begin advancing this category earlier this fiscal year than it has previously done. One of the challenges in doing so is that the resulting increase in number use could ultimately reduce the cut-off date movement that normally occurs during the final quarter of the fiscal year.

Waiting List Report:

The January 2015 Visa Bulletin ( http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin/2015/visa-bulletin-for-january-2015.html) includes in Section D, an "Annual Report of Immigrant Visa Applicants in the Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based Preferences Registered at the National Visa Center as of November 1, 2014."  This report lists the total number of applicants registered at the National Visa Center in the various numerically-limited immigrant visa categories.  AILA received the following question from a member in response to this report:

Question:

Is there any way that the Visa Office could show how many of the applicants have priority dates in the next 6 months, next year, and next 18 months? The raw numbers do not give much help in telling a client there are "x" number of applicants ahead of your priority date.

Visa Office response:

We understand the member's desire to know how many applicants have priority dates within the next 6, 12 and 18 months.  The Visa Office does not provide this information primarily because doing so would not be as instructive as one might think in predicting when an individual's priority date will become current.  There are several reasons for this.

It is important to keep in mind that visa demand is constantly changing and the data in such a report would only represent a portion of the possible visa demand.  Specifically, it would not include data on the many cases pending at USCIS. The USCIS numbers represent the vast majority of the demand in the employment-based categories.  Additionally, knowing the number of cases with certain priority dates within a particular IV category could be misleading, since this is only one of several variables which are taken into consideration when determining the monthly cut-off dates.

It is also worth noting that the demand included in such a report would not reflect the number of cases NVC has on file in the family-based categories that could potentially pursue their cases.  For example, at this time, approximately 60% of F-2B applicants never responded to the agent of choice letters sent by the NVC during the period March 2013 through April 2014.  There is no way to know whether these individuals adjusted status through USCIS, whether they did not proceed due to ineligibility, whether they are no longer entitled to status, or whether they are putting off responding for some other reason.

One reason applicants may not respond to an agent of choice letter is that they may not want to pay the fee until their priority date becomes current.  While this is understandable, it can be counterproductive.  When an applicant pays the fee promptly upon receipt of the agent of choice letter, the case is either complete, or there is time to obtain any necessary documents to complete the file so that the case is ready for interview and approval as soon as the priority date becomes current.  When an applicant waits for the priority date to become current before paying the fee, an unanticipated surge in demand could result in the retrogression of the relevant category before the applicant had the opportunity to be interviewed and approved.  Therefore, it is preferable that applicants pay the fee immediately upon receipt of the agent of choice letter and promptly provide any requested documents as soon as possible.  Doing so provides greater visibility of demand, which in turn reduces the potential for erratic movement of the cut-off dates.

Coming Attractions...

Every few months the Visa Office updates its predictions for visa availability in the coming months, as it last did in November.  Expect to see updated predictions in the February 2015 Visa Bulletin.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Alka Bahal
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions