The Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, Charles Oppenheim, at the Department of State recently provided some insight to the American Immigration Lawyers Association regarding priority dates and immigrant visa availability in the coming months.
EB-1: In October, we normally expect to see full recovery of the final action dates from the previous year as the new Fiscal Year’s green cards become available. In past years, it would be possible to allow for thousands of unused green cards from EB-4 and EB-5 to become available for use in the EB-1 category. However, going into the upcoming fiscal year, there is no expectation that there will be any extra unused numbers available to EB-1 India and EB-1 China in the foreseeable future. EB-1 India and EB-1 China will continue to have separate dates and will be subject to the annual minimum per country limit of approximately 2,803. It is not expected for any of the EB-1 categories to become current at any time in the foreseeable future. The visa chief further expects that there will not be any movement for EB-1 India until January 2020 at the earliest. There are currently around 16,000 EB-1 India applicants that were already interviewed and are just waiting for a green card to become available. Potential upgrades from EB-2 India could make EB-1 India backlogs worse. EB-1 India is expected to remain severely backlogged for years, but it is too early to predict what the date movement may be in the coming years.
EB-2: EB-2 India will continue to have limited forward movement for the foreseeable future. Due to overall increase in EB-2 China, it is not expected to see a full recovery in FY2020. At this point, demand is within the amount of available numbers to satisfy the needs for EB-2 Worldwide so it should remain current. Should increasing levels of demand begin to materialize it may necessitate setting a final action date for EB-2 Worldwide at some point during the second half of the fiscal year.
EB-3: There may be irregularity in movement for these categories because there is currently not as much visibility into pending demand. EB-3 India will have little if any forward movement until possibly January 2020. EB-3 China does not appear to have the same level of demand at this time, but it is possible that EB-2 downgrades will impact movement of the EB-3 China date later in FY2020. At this point, demand is keeping pace with available numbers to satisfy the needs for EB-3 Worldwide. If demand increases in the coming months, it may require setting a final action date for EB-3 Worldwide later in the fiscal year.
EB-5: EB-5 China, EB-5 India, and EB-5 Vietnam will continue to have final action dates in the foreseeable future and are not expected to return to current.
This is all the information I have. As usual, I’ll keep you posted if I have any more news!