Employment-Based Preference Categories
EB-1 China and EB-1 India remain steady at January 1, 2012, and DOS anticipates this date will hold for the remainder of the fiscal year. It is hoped that these categories will become current again on October 1, 2018, but demand trends will be monitored over the summer. If USCIS District Offices are not interviewing EB-1 China and EB-1 India applicants with priority dates beyond the established final action date, DOS may not have clear visibility into total demand. If there is a surge in demand for these categories beginning in October, it could cause a final action date to be imposed more quickly in the fiscal year than otherwise anticipated.
DOS expects that a final action date for EB-1 Worldwide will be imposed either in August or September, but notes that the category will return to current in October.
EB-2 India breaks into 2009, advancing almost three months to March 15, 2009 in July, and is likely to hold at that date through this fiscal year. DOS has significant demand in the pending demand file for this category and chose this date to offset the low demand for numbers under the worldwide annual limit through mid-May. This advancement of the EB-2 India final action date will help ensure that all EB-2 visa numbers are used by the end of the fiscal year.
EB-2 Worldwide demand has been increasing in recent weeks, but it is too early to tell if it will be sustained. If this trend continues or increases, DOS may need to impose a final action date in August or September. If that occurs, EB-2 Worldwide will return to current in October.
Demand for EB-2 China has been low in recent months despite the steady movement of the final action date. In July, EB-2 China will leap forward four months to January 1, 2015, in an effort to generate demand. EB-3 China demand is extremely high, attributable to hundreds of downgrades, and has reached its per country limit. This results in the final action dates for EB-2 China and EB-3 China flipping again-with EB-2 China now a full two years ahead of EB-3 China. Members should not expect any further advancement in EB-3 China this fiscal year, with the final action date returning to June 1, 2015 in October. DOS will continue to watch this and notes that as the final action dates for EB-2 China and EB-3 China get closer together, we may see the downgrade trend of the last few years start to diminish.
As predicted, EB-4 Mexico exhausted its annual limit and in July, its final action date will track that of EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras at February 8, 2016. DOS expects EB-4 Mexico to return to a final action date of October 22, 2016 in October but predicts that the final action date for EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras will likely hold for the first few months of the next fiscal year.
EB-4 India demand is increasing and may result in the imposition of a final action date in August or September. If that occurs, the category will return to current in October.
EB-5 China Non-Regional Center and Regional Center will hold at August 1, 2014 in July and is expected to remain at that date at least through September.
Family-Based Preference Categories
The family-based preference categories continue to advance modestly. DOS notes low response rates to Agent of Choice Letters, particularly in FB-3, which is causing the dates to move somewhat more rapidly than they otherwise would.
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