The October 2017 Visa Bulletin contains predictions for final action date movement in the various categories for the upcoming fiscal year. These predictions are what DOS anticipates through January. Updated predictions will be published at that time. The Application Filing Dates which are included in the Bulletin represent how far DOS expects the final action dates in each category to advance by the end of the fiscal year.
Employment-Based Preference Categories
EB-1 China and EB-1 India. These categories will become current again in October. USCIS has reported a significant amount of pre-adjudicated demand for these categories which will be eligible for final processing in October. These categories are expected to remain current for the foreseeable future, although a final action date will likely again be imposed at some point later in the fiscal year.
EB-2 Worldwide. As anticipated, this category becomes current again on October 1, and should remain current for the foreseeable future.
EB-2 India. The fiscal year starts with a final action date of September 15, 2008 for EB-2 India and is expected to advance at a pace of up to one month at a time. It is hoped that the final action date will reach early 2009 at some point in the next calendar year. The biggest factor impacting forward movement for EB-2 India will continue to be demand for EB-3 to EB-2 upgrades. Recently, up to half of the monthly target has been used by these upgrades.
EB-3 India. The final action date for EB-3 India remains at October 15, 2006 as we start the fiscal year, and is likely to hold steady in November, with some movement possible in December. The reason this date is holding steady despite the influx of new visa numbers at the start of the fiscal year is that the date has already been advanced knowing that many September cases would likely require updates which may not allow final action to occur prior to September 30. Such cases would then be identified and returned to the Visa Office, so that they could be available for October use, by which time the required information should be received. The numbers that were “reallocated” to October exceeded the desired target, preventing any forward movement of the date.
EB-2 China and EB-3 China. EB-3 China will start the fiscal year with a final action date of January 1, 2014, which is almost eight months ahead of EB-2 China’s final action date of May 22, 2013. Even with the advancement of EB-3 China, DOS is not fully utilizing the monthly target in an effort to avoid a drastic retrogression later this fiscal year as a result of increased demand. This situation is once again ripe for EB-2 to EB-3 downgrades resulting in the demand DOS is expecting. EB-2 China’s modest advancement is attributable to material demand and a desire to maintain steady though limited forward movement through the fiscal year.
EB-3 Worldwide. EB-3 Worldwide’s final action date, which became current in August, continues to remain current in October and is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future.
EB-3 Philippines. The final action date for EB-3 Philippines advances one month to December 1, 2015 in October and may advance up to two months at a time as we enter the new fiscal year.
EB-5 China. The final action date for EB-5 China advances one week to June 22, 2014 in October and will continue to advance at a pace of up to one week at a time.
Family-Based Categories. Since DOS has greater visibility into family-based demand, there are usually few surprises in this area. Members may however see the final action dates for Mexico advance more quickly if demand does not start to materialize. There is also a low response rate in the Philippines family-based categories which may prompt more rapid advancement in order to generate demand.
As predicted, due to lower demand relative to the other countries, EB-4 Mexico has its o