Last week, the Department of State (DOS) released the June Visa Bulletin and several categories saw significant forward movement. The EB3 all others and Philippines both jumped forward 10 mos. as did India EB1. Other categories saw little to no forward movement. The USCIS announced that it would follow the Final Action Date chart for I-485 filings in June. If you are current in June, we encourage you to file your I-485 as the summer months typically see retrogression.
The Department of State has finally released the May Visa Bulletin and it has a few pleasant surprises. Most notably, EB1 for all other countries became current; all categories for PRC moved forward; and, India EB1 and EB3 each moved forward over 1 month. The EB3 Philippines category stayed retrogressed to Jan 1, 2017 which is most unfortunate since the majority of persons in this category are registered nurses which are badly needed in the US at this time. The USCIS has declared that for purposes of filing I-485 cases in May, we must use the Final Action Date chart.
The Department of State (DOS) has released the April Visa Bulletin There was no forward movement in the Dates for Filing chart and there was very limited movement in the Final Action date chart and when I say limited movement, I mean 3 days forward for India EB2 and up to a few months for EB1 all others. The EB3 all others category remained unmoved. The USCIS has not yet announced which chart they will use for I-485 filings. We will update this post when they announce.
In remarks that can only be described as bizarre, White House Chief of Staff Mulvaney has declared that America needs more immigration. I realize the White House is a really big building and so he and Stephen Miller may not have met but, since the beginning of the Trump Administration, Miller and his cronies have imposed restrictions on legal immigration that has reduced the number of persons coming to the US on legal visas by almost 16% and the number of individuals coming on legal immigrant visas (green cards) by over 25%. The attacks and restrictive policies have been targeting high demand occupations such as registered nurses and software engineers. Maybe when Mr. Mulvaney gets back into DC, the WH can get their storylines and strategies straight. I'd like to view this as a positive development but, given the track record of this administration, it is more likely that Mulvaney will next be seen as a contributor on a news talk show.
The Department of State (DOS) has released the March Visa Bulletin and as predicted, the Final Action Date for EB3 for all countries has retrogressed back to Jan 1, 2017 (aside from India and China which are at 2009 and 2016 respectively). The Dates for Filing chart remains unchanged at Jan 1, 2019. The USCIS has declared that they will accept I-485 filings in March using the Dates for Filing chart. Retrogression occurs when there is an oversubscription (demand exceeds supply) for a particular category. The DOS went on to state that they do not expect any forward movement in the EB3 category in the foreseeable future meaning that we may get no forward movement until Oct 2020, the beginning of the new fiscal year. New legislation is the only remedy.
The Department of State (DOS) has recently released the February Visa Bulletin and there is very little forward movement in the Final Action Dates chart. Several categories remained the same and India EB2 jumped forward by 1 single day ! As expected, the Dates for Filing Chart stayed the same. The DOS issued a warning indicating that they expect retrogression in the "rest of the World" EB3 category as early as March. The USCIS has announced which 485 applications they will accept in Feb and they are using a combination of the dates for filing and final action charts depending upon your country of chargeability. Check the language carefully to understand how it may impact you.
The Department of State (DOS) has released the January 2020 Visa Bulletin and there is a lot of activity. Most notably, in the Dates for Filing chart, EB3 for the Philippines and all other countries retrogressed to Jan 1, 2019. In the Final Action chart, EB1 for the all other countries jumped forward 4 mos. but, all other categories remained essentially the same with forward movement ranging from 3 days to 2 weeks. The USCIS has announced that they will accept I-485 filings in January based upon the Dates for Filing chart. Also, included in the Visa Bulletin were projections for coming months and there was a lot of bad news with the prediction that EB3 for all other countries is expected to retrogress by March and EB2 may retrogress as early as April.
Recently the Department of State (DOS) released the December Visa Bulletin and it brought no holiday gifts. All of the dates in the "Dates for Filing" chart remained unchanged whereas dates in the "Final Action Dates" chart stayed the same or barely crept forward. For example, of the 4 categories for Indian nationals, the India EB2 category is the only one that moved forward and it moved forward by a whopping 2 days :( On the good news front, the USCIS has announced that it will accept I-485 filings in Dec using the "Dates for Filing" chart consequently, we are recommending that all persons eligible to file I-485's in December, do so. In a sign of dark clouds looming on the horizon, the DOS predicted that retrogression in the "All other countries" categories for EB2 and EB3 is imminent and cut-off dates could occur as soon as January. Typically, this does not occur until near the end of the fiscal year i.e. Aug or Sept. Retrogression remains a major problem for legal immigrants and only a legislative solution can solve the issue. With the current political climate, no relief is expected.
On Thursday, the Senate bill designed to eliminate the per country limits for green card cases failed again. This time, it was blocked by Senator Perdue from Georgia. The current concern centers around the negative impact that the bill would have on the recruitment of international RN's from the Philippines. It is expected that Senator Perdue and Senator Lee will try and work out a compromise to protect this important industry. Whether or not a compromise can be achieved is unknown at this time but, it is believed by many to be closer to passage than it has in the past. More insight onto the current state of this bill can be found at the WSJ. If you would like to follow the bill using the official Congressional web-site, you can access that here.
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.