DEPARTMENT OF STATE JANUARY 2017 VISA BULLETIN
FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED CATEGORIES
EB-1 REMAINS CURRENT WORLDWIDE
EB-2 WORLDWIDE REMAINS CURRENT
EB-2 Slow ADVANCEMENT FOR INDIA AND CHINA
EB-3 ONE MONTH ADVANCEMENT WORLDWIDE
EB-3 SLOW ADVANCEMENT FOR CHINA
AND THE PHILIPPINES
EB-3 NO ADVANCEMENT FOR INDIA
USCIS NO DETERMINATION ON PRIORITY DATES

The Department of State (DOS) has issued its January 2017 Visa Bulletin for Fiscal Year 2017. For the categories that are not current, there continues to be slow advancement for EB-2 and EB-3, except EB-3 India which has no advancement since the December 2016 Visa Bulletin.

EB-1 (Priority Workers) continues to be current worldwide. EB-2 (Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability) India, an advancement of 2 months 15 days, China, an advancement of 24 days, while current worldwide. For EB-3 (Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers) categories there is slow advancement for all categories except India which has not advanced since December 2016; advancements for Worldwide is one month, China by 2 months 8 days, and the Philippines by 1 month and 22 days.

EB-1-Worldwide: Priority dates are current
EB-2-Worldwide: Priority dates are current, except:
India:            Priority date of April 15, 2008 , Advancement of 2 months and 15 days.
China:           Priority date of October 15, 2012, Advancement of 24 days.
EB-3-Worldwide: Priority date of August 1, 2016, Advancement of 1 month.
India:            Priority date of March 15, 2005, No Advancement.
China:           Priority date of September 8, 2013, Advancement of 2 months and 8 days.
Philippines:    Priority date of July 22, 2011, Advancement of 1 month and 22 days.

USCIS ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS DATES

If USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, the USCIS will state on www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo that you may use the Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart in the Department of State January 2017 Visa Bulletin. Otherwise, USCIS will indicate on their web site that you must use the Application Final Action Dates chart to determine when you may file your adjustment of status application in the United States. Currently, as of this publication, the USCIS has not determined which chart to use for January 2017.

Checking-In with Charlie Oppenheim

Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of Visa Control and Reporting Division for the U.S. Department of State (DOS), responsible for analyzing and predicting immigrant preference categories, reported that:

  • Although EB-1 is current Worldwide at the moment, China and India will be subject to a final action date “at some point,” probably early next year, because India has already reached its country limit, while China is getting very close to it.
  • EB-2 Worldwide, Mexico and the Philippines will be subject to a cut-off date no later than July 2017.
  • EB-2 China is about ten months behind EB-3 China. Charlie predicts that this gap will continue to close but is not sure how fast the closing will take.
  • Charlie is hoping that EB-2 India’s final action date will move into 2009 from 2008 sometime during the 2017 Fiscal Year.
  • Charlie warns of the increasing demand for EB-3 Worldwide category but he does state that he is not sure if “this demand will be sustained.”
  • EB-3 India, Charlie’s prediction is that it would “move up to one week, hold for several months, then move one week, and then hold again.
  • Charlie is limiting the advancement of EB-3 China in anticipation of an influx of applicants “downgrading” from the EB-2 category.

(Source: AILA Doc. No. 14071401)

Please contact SW Law Group if you have any further questions regarding these developments.