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Department of State Predicts Rapid Movement of Priority Dates in Some Employment Based Immigrant Visa Categories

April 26, 2021
Beata Leja

On April 23, 2021, The Department of State’s Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division hosted his 2nd live chat to answer questions related to the Visa Bulletin and provide insight and predictions on the progression and regression of priority dates this fiscal year (which ends on September 30, 2021). Each month, the Department of State publishes the Visa Bulletin, which summarizes the availability of immigrant visa numbers available for individuals in the employment based, family based, and diversity lottery categories.  The bulletin indicates when applicants in those categories are eligible to apply for a visa based on their priority date. Given the numerical limits in place for these immigrant visas, applicants often wait years or even decades for their priority date to be current and the wait times vary depending on their category and country of birth.

The following are some of the highlights and predictions from this month’s live chat:

            • -EB-2 India will move forward aggressively in June and July;
            • -Family based categories will move very little this fiscal year, except for India and worldwide 4th preference categories (siblings of U.S. citizens), which will move ahead in June;
            • -India will exceed the 7% cap on immigrant visas because regulations permit that excess numbers be distributed in any category where the demand by other countries does now allow the total number of visas to be used;
            • -Expect all employment-based priority dates to exceed those in the October 2020 Visa Bulletin, except for EB-5 China and EB-3 India;
            • -Efforts will be made to move EB-3 India to January 2014 by September 2021;
            • -EB-2 China will advance rapidly in the coming months, advancing probably into summer 2017;
            • -There will be no retrogression for EB-2 or EB-3 India or any of the family based categories this fiscal year;
            • -At this time, Hong Kong is treated as an independent country for priority date purposes, as it has been for last several decades, despite former President Trump’s Executive Order;
            • -Downgrades from EB-2 to EB-3 could impact movement in the EB-3 category, but it is too early to tell.

The videos are posted on the Department of State’s YouTube Channel each month.  Questions can be emailed to VisaBulletin@state.gov ahead of the event with “Chat with Charlie Question” in the subject line.  Questions will also be taken via the YouTube Live Chat and will be answered in real-time.  The event is intended to address issues of general interest related to the content of the Visa Bulletin, and no policy, case, or post specific questions are accepted.

If you have questions related to your immigration matters, please contact an attorney at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C.

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