Visa Office Update on Priority Dates and Demand

On April 21, 2014, the Department of State’s Visa Office made statements regarding what might be expected in terms of upcoming Visa Bulletin movement. Its comments included following:

Employment-Based 5th Preference China (EB-5):
• China EB-5 could retrogress later this year, possibly in August or September.
• Retrogression for China EB-5 in FY 2015 appears to be inevitable because there are over 7,000 I-526 applications pending and 80% are from China.
• More information about China EB-5 retrogression will likely be released this month.

Employment-Based 1st Preference (EB-1):
• It is too early in the fiscal year to predict how many unused cases will drop into the EB-2 category, though EB-1 usage is heavier this year than last year.

Employment-Based 2nd Preference India (EB-2):
• It is possible that in August or September, India EB-2 will open at 1/1/2008 (or perhaps later in 2008) to utilize the rest of the EB-2 visa numbers that were unused by the WW categories.
• The numbers that will be utilized will depend on EB-1 and EB-2 usage in the WW categories for the rest of the fiscal year (it could be 5,000 or more). This would be less than what was available in FY 2013.

Employment-Based 3rd Preference Worldwide (EB-3):
• USCIS has encouraged the Department of State to “move the category forward” over the past 5 months, though the Visa Office has limited knowledge as to the number of eligible applicants. Demand appears to be increasing, so it is unlikely that the category will move forward anytime soon. In fact, if current demand continues, something may have to be done as early as this month to slow the demand in this category.
• Q4 for FY 2014 does not look good. No movement or retrogression is possible.

Employment-Based 3rd Preference China (EB-3):
• Many Chinese nationals who are waiting in the EB-2 category have been filing to downgrade to EB-3. The effect of these requests will be reflected in the coming months.
• High demand is expected to continue in this category and a correction may be reflected within the next few months.
• If China FB-2A retrogresses because of the WW FB-2A retrogression referenced above, the unused FB demand could be used by China EB-3.

Map with North America depicted in white, with the most populated cities represented as small black dots, with darker shades indicating higher population density

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