With the release of the August Visa Bulletin, the Department of State (DOS) forced everyone not born in India, China or the Philippines to learn the term retrogression as the final action dates for all categories for all countries retrogressed to dates ranging from Jan 2006 to Jan 2017. This “end of the year” phenomenon is created by the usage by the USCIS (I-485 cases) and the Consular posts (CP cases) of the allotted number of immigrant visas for a fiscal year. In other words, approvals of green cards exhausts the allotment thereby creating retrogression; so in effect, this is a good thing. Many years ago, all allotted immigrant visas were not utilized thereby wasting them as there is no carry-over so even though this recent retrogression may appear to be a bad thing, it is better than the alternative. The DOS expects priority dates to return to July 2019 dates when the new fiscal year starts on October 1, 2019.
Last week, the Department of State (DOS) released the July Visa Bulletin and a number of categories jumped significantly particularly for Chinese born persons. Included in the bulletin was a section providing a look into the final 2 months of this fiscal year and it is expected that many, if not all categories, will retrogress in August and September. As a result, if you are eligible for adjustment (I-485), you should file in July as you may not be able to file again until the new fiscal year starts in October.
The May Visa Bulletin released a few weeks ago by the DOS proved once again to be depressing for those waiting in the long lines to immigrate legally. As an example, India EB2 moved forward by 4 days after moving forward 3 days in the April bulletin. Only EB3 Philippines saw any significant forward movement; 3 months. The DOS also predicted further retrogression of the EB1 category for both China and India. As expected, the USCIS indicated that it would accept I-485 filings based on the Final Action Date chart. Legislative action remains needed but, in this political climate, no reasonable person expects any relief.
Last week, the DOS released the February Visa Bulletin and it reflects very little forward movement. Retrogression remains a significant problem and in spite of all of the attention being paid to immigration issues, this major issue impacting our legal immigration system is not even an afterthought.
The Department of State (DOS) has released the January Visa Bulletin and outside of the EB1 category which saw slight movement, virtually all other categories in the Final Action Date chart went unchanged. In the Dates for Filing chart, only EB3 China and India saw forward movement. On a positive note, once again, the USCIS is allowing the filings of I-485’s in January based upon the Dates for Filing chart.
The December Visa Bulletin issued by the Department of State revealed slight forward movement in the “Dates for Filing” chart in several categories. India EB3 has now moved ahead of India EB2 by almost 7 months. The “Final Action dates” chart showed slight forward movement for the EB1 category across all countries but, very little elsewhere. The USCIS has announced that it will accept I-485 filings based upon the Dates for Filing chart.
The Department of State (DOS) recently released the November Visa bulletin and as predicted, there was little to no forward movement. EB3 Philippines even saw the dates move backward by 1 week. We are expecting to see forward movement in at least the EB1 category in December. Retrogression remains a major impediment to an effective legal immigration system.
The Department of State (DOS) has released the October Visa Bulletin. The October bulletin is always anticipated because it is the first bulletin of the new fiscal year and provides a glimpse via the “Dates for Filing” chart as to how much progression the State Dept expects for visa dates in FY 2019. Unfortunately, this bulletin disappoints and is yet another reminder of how much retrogression is crippling our legal immigration system. Some of the lowlights include: EB1 continuing to be retrogressed for all countries; India EB2 being so back-logged that EB3 jumps ahead (same situation as China has experienced for the last several years); EB3 for the Philippines did not jump forward but, is the same date that was released in the April 2018 bulletin. In a piece of good news, the USCIS has announced that it will accept I-485 filings in October using the “Dates for Filing” chart.
The Department of State (DOS) has released the July Visa Bulletin and there is a lot action. The India EB3 category jumped forward by 6 mos. and EB2 by 3 mos. For those born in China, EB2 moved forward by 4 mos. but, EB3 moved backward by over 2 years. The bulletin predicted that the numbers would run out before the end of the fiscal year so we should expect retrogression or complete unavailability in coming months until the start of the new fiscal year. This is not unusual and in fact, this is positive in that it means that they are utilizing all available immigrant visas. There is some retrogression relief in one of the immigration bills that the House is currently considering but, there is little expectation that it will pass.
The Department of State has released the June Visa Bulletin and the only movement in any employment category was a huge jump in the India EB2 category of four (4) days ! All other categories remained at May final action dates. Retrogression remains a major impediment to a working legal immigration system.