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Immigrant Visa Processing Changes to Expect in 2017

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on August 02, 2017

A number of visa processing changes have been made so far this year, and more are expected throughout the remainder of 2017. Charles Oppenheim, the Department of State’s Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, has recently shared his most recent report regarding the existing trends and projections for a variety of immigrant preference categories. The report analyzed changes made earlier in 2017 along with projections for the rest of the year. Here are some of these changes made and expected to be made throughout the year.

EB-1 China and India

In June, the final action date for EB-1 India and EB-1 China was imposed, and will likely still remain throughout the rest of the fiscal year. Because of the substantial availability of “otherwise unused numbers” experienced in May, EB-1 India has used over 12,900 numbers this year, while EB-1 China has used over 6,300.

EB-2 Worldwide

Due to a slight decline in demand during the second half of May, and the steadiness of demand in June, Oppenheim kept EB-2 Worldwide current in July. In August, a final action cut-off date was imposed and was more dramatic than it might have been if it had been set in July. The category will become current once more in early October.

EB-2 India

Since EB-2 India’s final action date was imposed on July 22, 2008, Oppenheim doesn’t anticipate much advancement for this immigrant category for the rest of the fiscal year.

There’s particular pressure on this specific category because of high demand and the lack of unused numbers under its annual limit. About 40 percent of the available numbers are currently being used by beneficiaries who made the upgrade from EB-3 India.

EB-2 China and EB-3 China

For the first time in 2017, EB-2 China’s final action date will be imposed later than the final action date for EB-3 China. EB-2 China moved forward three weeks in July up to March 22, 2013, with expectations for further progress. On the other hand, EB-3 China moved back three years to January 1, 2012, because of substantial downgrades. This imposed final action date will last throughout the rest of the fiscal year, but will eventually progress on October 1, 2017, to October 1, 2014.