June 2017 Visa Bulletin Commentary

The June 2017 Visa Bulletin was recently released. Most notably, EB-1 for India retrogresses to 1 January 2012. This is a temporary retrogression. EB-1 priority dates for Indian nationals will again become current on October 1, 2017, the start of the 2018 fiscal year.

For all countries except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico: F2A category priority date advances 31 days to 15 August 2015, 21 days’ movement forward in F2B preference with PD at 22 October 2010, F4 category stays at 8 May 2004 PD; EB2 is current, and EB3 advances 31 days to a PD of 15 April 2017.

For India only:  F2A category advances 31 days with the priority date at 15 August 2015, 21 days’ movement forward in F2B preference with PD at 22 October 2010, F4 advances 7 days to PD of 15 September 2003; EB1 regresses to 1 January 2012, EB2 advances 9 days to a PD of 1 July 2008, EB3 advances 51 days to a PD of 15 May 2005.

EB5 China- Non-Regional Center advances 7 days to PD of 8 June 2014, and Regional Center becomes available with a PD of 8 June 2014.

Can file your immigrant applications if PD before:

F2A 8 April 2016; F2B 1 September 2011; F4 15 November 2004 for All Areas except India, China, Philippines, and Mexico and 22 June 2004 for India

EB2 and 3 All Countries except India, China, and the Philippines are current; EB1 India is current; EB2 India remains at 1 February 2009; EB3 India remains 22 April 2006.

EB5 China (RC and non RC) –1 September 2014

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Notes copied from the Department of State regarding Visa availability:

D.  OVERSUBSCRIPTION OF THE CHINA AND INDIA EMPLOYMENT-BASED FIRST (E1) PREFERENCE CATEGORIES

Readers were advised in item D of the May Visa Bulletin number 5, that it would be necessary to impose a date for these two countries in the near future. The continued high level of demand for E1 numbers for USCIS adjustment of status applicants has required the establishment of a date for June. This has been done in an attempt to hold number use within the Worldwide E1 annual limit. The E1 date for these two countries will once again become CURRENT for October, the first month of fiscal year 2018.

E.  EXTENSION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT VISA CATEGORIES

An extension of both the Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR) and Employment Fifth Preference Pilot (I5 and R5) Categories was signed into law in early May. As indicated in item E of the Visa Bulletin which announced the May final action dates, the extension has resulted in the immediate application of the following final action dates for the month of May:

SR: “Current” for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico which are subject to a July 15, 2015 final action date for May.

I5 and R5: “Current” for all countries except China-mainland born for May.  China-mainland born applicants are subject to a June 1, 2014 final action date for May.

F.  EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISA AVAILABILITY DURING THE COMING MONTHS

CHINA E3: There has been an extremely large increase in Employment Third preference applicant demand during the past month. This is due to the “downgrading” of status by applicants who had originally filed in the Employment Second preference. This has resulted in the Third preference final action date being held for the month of June. Continued heavy demand for numbers will require a retrogression of this date no later than August to hold number use within the FY-2017 annual limit.

INDIA E4 and SR:  There continues to be high demand in these categories which is likely to result in the India E4 per-country limit being reached during June.  Therefore, readers should expect the implementation of July E4 and SR Final Action Dates for India. This action will allow the Department to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2017 annual limits.

The India E4 and SR dates would once again become CURRENT for October.

G.   SPECIAL IMMIGRANT VISA AVAILABILITY

The Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY 2017, enacted May 5, 2017, authorized an additional 2,500 Special Immigrant Visas under the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009, as amended.  As a result, the Final Action Date for the SQ category for certain Afghan nationals employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Afghanistan will remain “Current” and interviews will resume.

The SQ category for certain Iraqi nationals employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq remains current, though the application deadline was September 30, 2014.

The FY-2017 annual limit of 50 Special Immigrant Visas in the SI category was reached in December 2016 and the Final Action Date remains “Unavailable.”  As included in the January 2017 Visa Bulletin, further issuances in the SI category will not be possible until October 2017, under the FY-2018 annual limit.