Musillo Unkenholt has received many emails and phone calls from people who have questions about the August 2016 Visa Bulletin. We have put together this FAQ for all readers of the MU Law Blog.
Q. Why do the August and September Visa Bulletins always have unusual progressions and retrogressions?
A. These two Visa Bulletins are the final two Visa Bulletins of the US Fiscal Year, which runs from October 1 – September 30. The USDOS must make sure that it uses all 140,000 employment based immigrant visas. If it does not use all 140,000 immigrant visas, then the visas do not roll over into the next fiscal year. On the other hand, the USDOS cannot use more than 140,000 immigrant visas or else they violate federal law.
Q. The Philippine and All Other EB2 retrogressed for the first time in many years. Does this mean that the Philippine EB2 and All Other dates will permanently be retrogressed?
A. No. This is a temporary retrogression that will only last until October 1, 2016. The DOS expects that the October Visa Bulletin will be Current for both Philippines and All Other EB-2.
Q. The India EB-2 seems stuck in 2004. For much of the year it was in 2008. When will it return to 2008?
A. Our sense is that October 2016 Visa Bulletin will show a much more favorable Indian EB-2 date, probably back to 2008.
Q. The Philippine EB-3 is unaffected by the August retrogression. Where do you think the Philippine EB-3 date is headed?
A. Our read is that the September 2016 Visa Bulletin may have an unusual date. Therefore you should not read anything into the September 2016 Visa Bulletin.
However, Fiscal Year 2017 looks very positive for Philippine EB-3. Our educated guess is that the Philippine EB-3 date will move at approximately a three-to-one ratio. In other words, the EB-3 date should move, on average, three months each Visa Bulletin.
Q. At what rate will the All Other EB-3 move in 2017?
A. The All Other EB-3 should remain Current or almost Current for the foreseeable future.