Within the U.S. Department of State (DOS) is the Visa Control and Reporting Division that is responsible for the movement of immigrant visa cut-off dates each month and for releasing DOS’ monthly Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin and the cutoff dates that are reflected in the Visa Bulletin regulate the availability of Immigrant Visas or “green cards” for immigrants in the family-sponsored or employment-based preference categories. Recently, the head of the DOS Visa Control and Reporting Division shared the following predictions:
Family-sponsored categories are underutilized. Over recent years, the demand for family-based immigrant visas has decreased; DOS predicts that cut-off dates will continue to advance relatively quickly. DOS believes that the decrease in demand is due to the present economic climate in the United States, among other factors.
Employment-based second and third categories are oversubscribed. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and DOS consular posts are requesting more employment-based visa numbers than in previous years. DOS believes the cause of this increase is two-fold. First, the average number of immigrant visas requested per immigrant visa case is 2.5. In the past the average was closer to 1. Second, many EB-3 applicants from India and China are now eligible for, and applying for, immigrant visas in the EB-2 category. This has increased the demand for immigrant visas from the EB-2 category.
Short Term Predictions for India and China
- EB-2 and EB-3 China - There will be slow movement (1-2 weeks per Visa Bulletin) over the next few months.
- EB-2 India - There will be little to no movement (up to 1 week per Visa Bulletin)
- EB-3 India - There will be slow movement (1-2 weeks per Visa Bulletin) over the next few months.