By: Michael Phulwani, Esq., David H. Nachman, Esq. and Rabindra K. Singh, Esq.
The Department of State’s June 2016 Visa Bulletin has announced major retrogression in the Final Action cut-off dates for India and China.
Specifically, in June 2016, India EB-2 Final Action cut-off date will retrogress to October 1, 2004, for the final issuance of immigrant visas. The India EB-2 Final Action cut-off date stood at November 22, 2008, in the May 2016 visa bulletin. Thus, India EB-2 Final Action cut-off date will retrogress by more than four (4) years in June 2016. India EB-3 will continue to move at the snail’s pace. The Final Action cut-off date for EB-3 India will move from September 1, 2004 to September 22, 2004.
Similar to India, EB-2 Final Action cut-off for China will retrogress by 20 months to January 1st 2010 in June 2016. Like EB-2, in June 2016, EB-3 China Final Action cut-off will also retrogress from current August 15, 2013, to January 1, 2010.
The DOS has cited “extremely high levels of Employment-based demand for adjustment of status cases filed with USCIS during past two (2) months” as the reason for retrogression of the EB-2 preference Final Action cut-off dates for India and China.
The June 2016 Visa Bulletin does not project a bullish forward movement in the immediate future for both India and China EB-2 and EB-3 preference categories. EB-2 India Final Action cut-off date is expected to advance slowly, at a pace consistent with that of the India EB-3 preference cut-off date, during the last three (3) months of the fiscal year. The projection is much worse for the Chinese nationals as the retrogressed Final Action cut-off is not likely to advance either in the EB-2 or EB-3 category.
Like the EB-2 preference category, Final Action cut-off date for the FB-4 category for both India and China will also retrogress in June 2016. India FB-4 Final Action cut-off will backward from present July 22, 2003, to January 1, 2001. Likewise, China FB-4 will retrogress from July 22, 2003, to January 1, 2003. While DOS is not in a position to project whether or not the China FB-4 will advance until the end of current fiscal year, it is almost certain that India FB-4 will not advance during the last quarter.
For the reference of readers, included below is the Final Action Date Chart per the June 2016 visa bulletin for the employment-based preference cases and family-sponsored preference cases.
APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES
APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES
All Chargeability Areas
Except Those Listed