Archive for the 'Visa Bulletins' Category

October 2014 Visa Bulletin Commentary

The October 2014 visa bulletin was released today. Here is what my readers are looking for:

For all countries except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico:  F2A category advances a month taking the priority date to 1 February 2013; F2B preference advances 2 months with PD at 1 November 2007;  F4 category advances 21 days taking PD to 22 January 2002;  EB2 is current and, and EB3 advances a huge 6 months to PD at 1 October 2011.

For India only: F2A category advances a month taking the priority date to 1 February 2013; F2B preference advances 2 months with PD at 1 November 2007;  F4 category advances 21 days taking PD to 22 January 2002;  EB2 India sees no movement leaving PD at 1 May 2009 and EB3 sees 7 days advancement taking priority date to 15 November 2003.

EB5 Note: There was much discussion in news reports about the unavailability of EB5 visas for citizens of China.  The October 2014 visa bulletin shows visas are now current and there should not be any waiting time.  The visa bulletin does not mention any warning issues for visa retrogression anytime soon but it is something that we will start monitoring to inform you.

If you are eligible to file,  it is important for those who are eligible to prepare filing your I-485 package as soon as possible.  Please note you cannot file until October 1st and can file while the priority date remains current for you.  Good luck to those who can file!

We will report on the November 2014 visa bulletin when it is released. See below for future cut off dates information:

News re. upcoming visa availability:

D.  VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS

INDIA Employment-based Second Preference: Increased demand will require the retrogression of this cut-off date, possibly in November, to hold number use within the fiscal year 2015 annual limit.

October 2014 Visa Bulletin is Out!

The October 2014 Visa Bulletin was released today.  Here is a link. Usual commentary to follow shortly.

Unused Visas: To Recapture or Not to Recapture- That Is The Question

Please visit this link before reading the article as the comment from Attorney Roger Algase is important because he clarifies that more understanding is necessary in the article. The issue is complicated no doubt and it would be appreciated if anyone who can make the issue crystal clear should comment on this. 

http://discuss.ilw.com/content.php?3445-Article-Unused-Visas-To-Recapture-or-Not-to-Recapture-That-Is-The-Question-By-Tahmina-Watson

To help discern the issues, here is the first draft of my “Unused Visa chart V1” with all the relevant sections of the current law. The pieces of the puzzle have been laid down- now to put the picture together. Feel free to help.

First draft to understand where visas are not being used and need recapturing

First draft to understand where visas are not being used and need recapturing

______________________________________________________________________________________________

(The below article needs to be updated and will be updated soon). 

The Politico Newspaper broke a story earlier this week (which has since been repeated by many other news outlets including the Wall Street Journal)  that Obama met with various business officials to discuss employment-based immigration issues that can be addressed with executive action.  One of those issues was apparently to recapture unused visas.

That issue caught my eye as it has been on my research to-do list for a while.  The news reports prompted me to research the law as to whether the president has the authority to recapture such unused visas. My opinion is that the law already allows for it.

Here is what the Immigration Nationality Act says at § 206 (8 USC 1156):

If an immigrant having an immigrant visa is denied admission to the United States and removed, or does not apply for admission before the expiration of the validity of his visa, or if an alien having an immigrant visa issued to him as a preference immigrant is found not to be a preference immigrant, an immigrant visa or a preference immigrant visa, as the case may be, may be issued in lieu thereof to another qualified alien.

The law already allows the use of unused visa. So what is all the fuss about?

Each year 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are issued. There is a complicated formula to calculate visa distribution.  The questions we should ask are these: (1)  In each fiscal year, do we have a record of how many visas were denied or otherwise not used? (2)  If so, do we know if they were reused within that particular fiscal year? Perhaps the Department of State can shed light on how many were unused from previous years.  Here is a report that lists number of visas issued.

From discerning all the complicated legal mumbo-jumbo from the statute,  the law basically says unused visas from the previous year will be added on to the current year of visa availability.  From what I can tell, unused visas are generally being put back in the pool.   While I cannot completely understand the numbers in the above linked reports, I believe the information should be available.  Reports from the Wall Street Journal and Politico discuss that 200,000 visas can be recaptured.  I would very much like to know how that number was determined (if anyone reading this article knows, then please do let me know!).

If indeed there were unused visas in past fiscal years that need recapturing, then do we even need a new law or executive order to recapture them? The law above in black and white clearly says they can be reused.

Therefore, in my opinion, unused visas- from years past,  can be reissued to other qualifying immigrants. No executive order necessary. Just understanding, implementation and execution.

I will continue my research and update this article in due course, if my research leads to more worthwhile information. But in the meantime, your question may be- why is this important?

The Backlog.  The visa backlog is one of the biggest problems our broken immigration system is encountering.  You may often hear the phrase  that people will have to go to the back of the ‘line’ to get their visas. There is no ‘line’ as such but the’ line’ refers to the waiting time to get a visa. People are waiting for years, sometimes, decades to get visas.  The employment-based preference categories have severe backlogs, particularly for China, India, Mexico and the Philippines.  Recapturing the unused visas will help reduce the backlog, help bring security and stability into peoples’ lives, which in turn will help businesses hire the right people, focus on growing their businesses and not worry about whether their employees will stay or leave the US.

Will the President include this in his list of executive orders? Well, I don’t think an executive order is necessary for the above reasons. But let’s imagine I missed something in my research and it does need an executive order. Will he include it in his list?  Hard to say.  If he is looking for maximum impact, this is definitely one way to make a big difference.  Politically, he is already in a challenging situation by all accounts- the GOP will take issue with whatever he does.  So, why not go for maximum impact and just go big?

**Copyright 2014 by Watson Immigration Law. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

September 2014 Visa Bulletin Commentary

The September 2014 visa bulletin was released today. Here is what my readers are looking for:

For all countries except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico:  F2A category advances a whole 8 months taking the priority date to 1 January 2013 (great news!). F2B preference advances 2 months with PD at 1 September 2007;  No change in F4 category leaving PD at 1 January 2002;  EB2 is current and, and EB3 sees no movement leaving to PD at 1 April 2011.

For India only:  F2A category advances a whole 8 months taking the priority date at 1 January 2013 (great news!). F2B preference advances 2 months with PD at 1 September 2007;  No change in F4 category leaving PD at 1 January 2002;  EB2 India sees about 4 months advancement taking PD to 1 May 2009 and EB3 sees no movement leaving priority date at 8 November 2003.

If you are eligible to file,  it is important for those who are eligible to prepare filing your I-485 package as soon as possible.  Please note you cannot file until September 1st and while the priority date remains current for you.  Good luck to those who can file!

We will report on the October 2014 visa bulletin when it is released. See below for future cut off dates information:

News re. upcoming visa availability:

D.  VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS

INDIA Employment-based Second Preference: The use of potentially “otherwise unused” Employment numbers prescribed by Section 202(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) has allowed the India Employment Second preference cut-off date to advance very rapidly in recent months. Continued forward movement of this cut-off date during the upcoming months cannot be guaranteed, however, and no assumptions should be made until the dates are formally announced. Once there is a significant increase in India Employment Second preference demand it will be necessary to retrogress the cut-off date, possibly as early as November, to hold number use within the fiscal year 2015 annual limit.

September 2014 Visa Bulletin Is Out

A few moments ago, the Dept. of State released the September 2014 visa bulletin.  Here is a link.  Please stay tuned for our usual commentary.

August 2014 Visa Bulletin Commentary

The August 2014 visa bulletin was released today. Here is what my readers are looking for:

For all countries except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico: No movement in F2A category leaving priority date at 1 May 2012, F2B preference advanced 60 days with PD at 1 July 2007;  F4 category advanced 8 days to PD at 1 January 200s;  EB2 is current and, and EB3 sees no movement leaving to PD at 1 April 2011.

For India only:  No movement in F2A category  leaving priority date at 1 May 2012, F2B preference advanced 60 days with PD at 1 July 2007;  F4 category advanced 8 days to PD at 1 January 2002;  EB India sees a 4 months and 21 days jump forward  taking PD to 22 January 2009 and EB3 sees some forward movement of 7 days taking us to priority date 8 November 2003.

With the jump forward for EB3 India, it is important for those who are eligible to prepare filing your I-485 package as soon as possible.  Please note you cannot file until August 1st and while the priority date remains current for you.  Good luck to those who can file!

We will report on the September 2014 visa bulletin when it is released. See below for future cut off dates information:

D.  VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS

The China-mainland born Employment Third and Third Other Workers cut-off dates have advanced for the month of August, and could do so again for September. There are two reasons for this advance after the retrogression of the cut-off date earlier this summer: 1) The heavy demand by applicants with priority dates significantly (years) earlier than the previous cut-off date has declined during the past two months, and 2) declining number use in the Family preferences during May and June, combined with updated estimates of such number use through the end of the fiscal year, has resulted in availability of several hundred numbers for use in the China-mainland born Employment Third preference.

During the past two months, the India Employment Second preference cut-off date has advanced very rapidly based on the projected availability of “otherwise unused” numbers under the worldwide preference limit. It must not be assumed that this cut-off date will continue to advance at the same pace during the coming months. A cut-off date does not mean that everyone with a priority date before such cut-off date has already been processed to conclusion. It remains to be seen how heavy the demand for visa numbers by applicants will be in the coming months, and what the priority dates of such applicants may be. Heavy demand by applicants with priority dates significantly earlier than the established cut-off date is expected to materialize within the next several months, at which time the cut-off date is likely to retrogress significantly.

July 2014 Visa Bulletin Commentary- EB2 India Sees Significant Advancement!

visa-passport blog picThe July 2014 visa bulletin was released this morning.

Headline: EB2 India sees a jump forward of 3 years, 9 months and 18 days.  

Here is what my readers are looking for:

For all countries except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico: No movement in F2A category since last month’s retrogression leaving priority date at 1 May 2012, F2B preference advanced 30 days with PD at 1 May 2007;  F4 category advanced 7 days to PD at 22 December 2001;  EB2 is current and, and EB3 sees no movement since last month’s retrogression leaving to PD at 1 April 2011.

For India only:  No movement in F2A category since last months retrogression leaving priority date at 1 May 2012, F2B preference advanced 30 days with PD at 1 May 2007;  F4 category advanced 7 days to PD at 22 December 2001;  EB India sees huge jump forward of 3 years, 9 months and 18 days taking PD to 1 September 2008 and EB3 sees some forward movement of 15 days taking us to priority date 1 November 2003.

With the significant jump forward for EB3 India, it is important for those who are eligible to prepare filing your I-485 package as soon as possible.  Please note you cannot file until July 1st and while the priority date remains current for you.  Good luck to those who can file!

We will report on the August 2014 visa bulletin when it is released.

 

July 2014 Visa Bulletin Is Out!

The July 2014 Visa Bulletin was released a short while ago. Our usual commentary to follow soon, stay tuned!

June 2014 Visa Bulletin Commentary

visa-passport blog picThe June 2014 Visa Bulletin was released today.  Retrogrssion in F2A and EB3 all countries categories. 

Here is what my readers are looking for:

For all countries except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico: F2A retrogressed1 year and 4 months to 1 May 2012, F2B preference advanced 60 days with PD at 1 April 2007;  F4 category advanced 7 days to PD at 15 December 2001;  EB2 is current and, and EB3  has retrogressed  1 years and 6 months to PD at 1 April 2011.

For India only:  F2A retrogressed1 yeas and 4 months to 1 May 2012, F2B preference advanced 60 days with PD at 1 April 2007;  F4 category advanced 7 days to PD at 15 December 2001; there is still no movement in EB2 preference category and EB3 sees some forward movement of 14 days taking us to priority date 15 October 2003.

While there was warning of retrogression last month, it is always hard to see it in black and white.  Please see below for message from Department of State regarding further possible retrogression.

We will report on the July 2014 visa bulletin when it is released.

Important text from the June 2014 visa bulletin below.

 D.  RETROGRESSION OF JUNE CUT-OFF DATES

WORLDWIDE F2A:
The cut-off date for the Family F2A category was advanced at a very rapid pace during fiscal year 2013 in an effort to generate demand to use all numbers available under the annual limit. Those movements have resulted in a dramatic increase in the level of applicant demand being received during the past seven months. This has required the retrogression of the Family F2A cut-off date for June in an effort to hold number use within the annual numerical limit. Further retrogression cannot be ruled out should demand by applicants with very early priority dates continue to increase.

MEXICO F2A:
Despite a previous retrogression, the level of demand has remained excessive, resulting in a further retrogression of this cut-off date to hold number use within the annual limit.

Employment Third, and Third Other Workers:
The unexpected and dramatic increase in demand being received from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Offices during the past several months has resulted in number use approaching the annual limit for this category. As a result, it has been necessary to retrogress the Worldwide, China, and Mexico cut-off dates for the month of June.

Notices were included in several Visa Bulletins during the past year alerting readers to the possibility of such retrogressions. While corrective action in some categories has become necessary earlier than was anticipated based on the information available earlier, it is hoped that readers are not caught off guard by these retrogressions.

June 2014 Visa Bulletin out!

The June 2014 Visa Bulletin is out! Here is a link.  Usual commentary to follow shortly. Headline is that there is major retrogression in F2A category.  Below is a copy of the relevant text from the visa bulletin.  Stay tuned for more.

 

D.  RETROGRESSION OF JUNE CUT-OFF DATES

WORLDWIDE F2A:
The cut-off date for the Family F2A category was advanced at a very rapid pace during fiscal year 2013 in an effort to generate demand to use all numbers available under the annual limit. Those movements have resulted in a dramatic increase in the level of applicant demand being received during the past seven months. This has required the retrogression of the Family F2A cut-off date for June in an effort to hold number use within the annual numerical limit. Further retrogression cannot be ruled out should demand by applicants with very early priority dates continue to increase.

MEXICO F2A:
Despite a previous retrogression, the level of demand has remained excessive, resulting in a further retrogression of this cut-off date to hold number use within the annual limit.

Employment Third, and Third Other Workers:
The unexpected and dramatic increase in demand being received from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Offices during the past several months has resulted in number use approaching the annual limit for this category. As a result, it has been necessary to retrogress the Worldwide, China, and Mexico cut-off dates for the month of June.

Notices were included in several Visa Bulletins during the past year alerting readers to the possibility of such retrogressions. While corrective action in some categories has become necessary earlier than was anticipated based on the information available earlier, it is hoped that readers are not caught off guard by these retrogressions.


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