EB-1 Cut Off Date

EB-1 Cut Off Expected for India and China

The Employment-Based 1 Category is usually one of the categories that you can rely on being current, meaning that someone with an approved I-140 in EB-1 can file for adjustment of status or for permanent residence through the consulate abroad. However, that is going to change for the remainder of the Fiscal Year for China and India. Charlie Oppenheimer, the guru of Department of State’s visa availability, forecasts that EB-1 for China and India is going to retrogress back to January 1, 2010 when the visa bulletin is released for August 2016. The EB-1 dates for China and India will reset on October 1, 2016, the first day of Fiscal Year 2017. The reason for retrogression is that there are strict visa quotas for each category and preference that cannot be exceeded each year.

VIBE – Business Immigration


Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises.

USCIS uses VIBE to verify its information for employer-based petitions. Businesses are required to provide some information about their operations in immigration petitions, such as number of employees, net income, and location. VIBE verifies that information for USCIS and the adjudicator looking at the petition. An adjudicator cannot deny a petition for a discrepancy that VIBE detects. Instead, he or she is supposed to send a Request for Evidence so that information can be verified. USCIS stresses that only public information is available for VIBE.

A company does not have to update its information in a database. However, it may verify and correct information by contacting Dun and Bradstreet, which is the independent information provider for VIBE.

June 2016 Visa Bulletin

Visa Bulletin – June 2016: Severe Retrogression for EB-2 and EB-3 India and China

The June 2016 Visa Bulletin has been released by the Department of State. USCIS has not yet said whether the filing dates can be relied upon for employment-based and family-based adjustment of status. It should announce that within the week.

Some categories of note:

The F-2A category, spouses and children of permanent residents, is about 18 months behind current for all chargeabilities. The filing dates are about 7 months behind.

EB-2 India is at July 1, 2009. EB-3 India is July 1, 2005. Both of those dates are for filing dates. The final action dates for both India and China EB-2 suffered severe retrogression. EB-2 India rolled back all of the way to October 1, 2004. EB-2 China reverted back to January 1, 2010. For India, that represents a setback of nearly 4 years and it is nearly 2 years for China. EB-3 China suffered a setback of over 3 years. The predictions for the remainder of the Fiscal Year (which does not begin anew until October 1) are dire for those two categories, as well. China is not expected to see movement through EB-2 or EB-3 for the remainder of the fiscal year. EB-2 and EB-3 India are expected to progress slowly for the remainder of the fiscal year.

In about two weeks, there will be a check in with the State Department’s Charlie Oppenheimer, where he will make predictions about the Visa Bulletin for July 2016.

April 2016 Visa Bulletin

April 2016 Visa Bulletin Released

It is that time again: The April 2016 Visa Bulletin has been released by the Department of State. You can find all of the final action dates and filing dates posted for Employment- and Family-Based categories.

The expected jump did not come for EB-2 India category. Charlie Oppenheimer had predicted 3 month leaps, but we will keep our eyes peeled for that leap in May.

There was only slight movement in the Family-Based categories.

The reason that there are limits and cutoff dates is because there is a limited allocation of immigrant visas, prescribed by country, category, and preference. Here is the State Department’s explanation of calculations:

  1. Procedures for determining dates. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; USCIS reports applicants for adjustment of status. Allocations in the charts below were made, to the extent possible, in chronological order of reported priority dates, for demand received by March 9th. If not all demand could be satisfied, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed. The cut-off date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits. If it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a cut-off date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new cut-off date announced in this bulletin. If at any time an annual limit were reached, it would be necessary to immediately make the preference category “unavailable”, and no further requests for numbers would be honored.

  2. Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets an annual minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000. The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000. Section 202 prescribes that the per-country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,620. The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,320.

Visa Bulletin News

Visa Bulletin News: Annual Report and February 2016 Bulletin

EB-5 pilot program

The Department of State released the February 2016 Visa Bulletin. It also published the Immigrant Visa Waiting List Report, which is an annual publication of the number of visa applicants on the waiting list in the preferences and subcategories. There is a wait list because of statutory numerical restrictions. For example, 28.7% of immigrant visas may come from Employment-Based 1 (EB-1) preference. EB-2 and EB-3 preferences for the China and India chargeabilities are the perpetually oversubscribed categories. Oversubscribed means that there are more people applying than spots available for immigrant visas.

One encouraging sign is movement in the EB-2 India category. It jumped 6 months from February 1, 2008 for the final action date to August 1, 2008. The visa bulletin continues to employ the filing and final action date system. The filing date for EB-2 India is July 1, 2009.

The data from the Department of State shows that over half of petitions are filed Family-Based 4 (FB-4), which is US citizens filing for their siblings. This category for all chargeabilities has an excruciating long wait period. On the Employment-Based side, there was a major increase in EB-5 petitions filed and considerable increases in the number of EB-1 and EB-2 petitions filed in 2015 as opposed to 2014. The agency’s report also includes a per country list. This is important because there is a per country limitation of no more than 7% of all immigrant visas issued for one country.