Visa Bulletin- Retrogression-Reason for advocacy

The June 2016 Visa bulletin was released this week and it doesn’t make for easy reading. There is significant retrogression in several preference categories but the one that is most significant for my clients and readers is EB2 India which retrogressed over 4 years.

2016 started with hope that, as part of President Obama’s executive action, there would marked changes in visa processing and that perhaps people could file their cases earlier.  However, disappointment followed soon when the USCIS released policy memos that did not actually provide the changes people hoped to see.

With this month’s retrogression, disappointment grows. And there is not much that can be done without immigration reform.

However, in my opinion, readers should look at this retrogression as a catalyst for an advocacy movement to ask President Obama to recapture unused visas.  There are over 200,000 visas that were unused between 1997-2001. Those unused visas remain unused.  Recapturing the visas will reduce the backlog signficantly.

While I personally thought it might have been part of the executive action announcements, unfortunately, it was not.  Congress intended for all visas to be used and created a roll-over method for unused visas.  With the spirit of the intent of Congress in mind, the visas should be recaptured.

With only a few months that remain of President Obama’s presidency, I suggest people advocate for themselves.  Share your stories and ensure your voice is heard.  Create a movement.  Afterall- “don’t ask, don’t get”.