From an October 15, 2014 meeting between the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State (DOS), the following insights were obtained regarding current trends and future projections for various immigrant preference categories.
EB-2 India Retrogression
EB-2 India will retrogress to February 15, 2005 as of November 1, 2014. Persons in the EB-2 India preference category with priority dates earlier than May 1, 2009 should file their adjustment of status applications before the end of October. No forward movement in this category is predicted for the foreseeable future.
EB-5 China became current at the start of the new fiscal year in October, but it will at some point become necessary to establish a cut-off date for EB-5 China, possibly as early as May 2015.
EB-3 China “Downgrades”
The cut-off date for EB-2 China is December 8, 2009, approximately three weeks earlier than the cut-off date for EB-3 China, which is January 1, 2010. DOS predicts that we are likely to see a cut-off for EB-2 China earlier than EB-3 China for a few months and that this is likely to prompt those with priority dates close to or within the EB-3 cut-off to file I-140s in the EB-3 category. This phenomenon is likely to last for a few months until these cases make it through USCIS, at which time the increased demand for EB-3 China will require a correction to that cut-off date.
Predictions for Forward Movement in the Preference Categories
As explained in the November Visa Bulletin, modest forward movement in the family-based preference categories of a few weeks to two months per month is possible. These predictions are based on information available in early October and will continue to be updated as the months progress and new information regarding the supply and demand for visas in the family-based categories becomes available.
In the employment-based preference categories, there is currently no movement predicted for EB-2 India, though EB-2 China is expected to progress by three to five weeks per month. Rapid advancement is expected in EB-3 China for the next few months until the correction described above kicks in. A one- or two-week movement per month is expected for EB-3 India. EB-3 Mexico is expected to remain at the worldwide cut-off, as is EB-3 Philippines, though for the Philippines, a roll-back might be necessary later in the fiscal year should demand increase dramatically.