Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What to expect - FY 2014 EB2 India Priority Date Movement and Analysis


Estimated 150,000 Green Cards are expected to be given this year under Employment Based Green Card category.

Last few years EB2 India has received good amount of spill overs. Unused numbers from EB4 and EB5 go to EB1. Unused numbers from EB1 goes to EB2. In EB2, all the spillover go to most retrogressed country (India in this case) till it reaches the next retrogressed (China in this case).

The number of Green Cards issued under EB2 India category is as follows:

FY 2013 - 17,193
FY 2012 - 19,726
FY 2011 - 23,997
FY 2010 - 19,961
FY 2009 - 10,106
FY 2008 - 14,806

Average of the above numbers is 17,632. Last year number is 17,193.

First question is, when will the dates start moving again ?
Typically, the movement for EB2 India is expected from June visa bulletin as it is the start of the last 4 months in the fiscal year, where spillovers can be applied. But, last year, DOS moved the dates only in August Visa Bulletin. So, depending on which strategy they use, the EB2 India dates can start moving as early as June 2014 Visa Bulletin or as late as August 2014 Visa Bulletin.

Next question will be, how much will it move ?
Again, depending on the DOS strategy, whenever they move, they can move all at once or in stages every visa bulletin -- which, I think can be between 01 JAN 08 (to move in stages) and as late as 01 OCT 09.

Next question will be, What are the scenarios for Sept 2014 visa bulletin EB2 India date ?
Best Case Scenario:
The best number in the previous few years is 23,997. Assuming that number and assuming very less porting that leaves about 23,000 visas. Then, according to numbers in Jan 2014 I-485 pending inventory, the date will move to 01 OCT 09.
Worst Case Scenario:
The least number in the previous few years is 10,106. Assuming that number and assuming there is lot of porting that leaves only 6000 visas. Then, according to numbers in Jan 2014 I-485 pending inventory, the date will move to 15 AUG 08.
Most Likely Scenario:
According to me, the most likely scenario is 01 MAR 09 -- assuming about 16,000 visas available and 2400 porting and few pending for more time due to RFE and other scenarios.

Data Sources:
I-485 pending inventory numbers are taken from -- http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-through-job/previous-pending-employment-based-i-485-inventory/pending-employment-based-i-485-inventory

EB2 Numbers are taken from -- http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/statistics/annual-reports.html

Annual Limits and Spill Over rule for FY 2014 --http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Statistics/Immigrant-Statistics/Web_Annual_Numerical_Limits.pdf

Thursday, April 10, 2014

FY 2015 H1b Update



USCIS news release today says, it has received 172,500 H1-B applications during the filing period that began on 1 April 2014 for the FY 2015.

USCIS had already announced on April 7, 2014 that it had received enough applications to meet the 65,000 general cap and 20,000 advance degree cap.

Today's release also confirms that, USCIS has completed the computer generated random selection process to decide on the accepted applicants under the cap.

Complete news release form USCIS website - http://www.uscis.gov/news/uscis-reaches-fy-2015-h-1b-cap-0

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

May 2014 Visa Bulletin and Analysis


May 2014 Visa Bulletin was released earlier today. 

EB2:

Date for EB2 India is 15 NOV 04 and EB2 China is 15 APR 09. The cut-off for all other EB2 countries are Current.

The good news is EB2 China keeps moving forward, more than a month this time.

As expected no movement for EB2 India. I think EB2 India dates is going to stay the same till June 2014 Visa Bulletin. It might start moving big from July 2014.

If you are waiting to file I-485, please use this opportunity to gather all the documents and keep it in place:



EB3:

Cut-off dates for EB3 India is 01 OCT 03 and EB3 Philippines is 01 NOV 07 and all other countries is 01 OCT 12.

Good news here is EB3 India date has moved 2 weeks and EB3 Philippines date has moved 4.5 months.

It is good to see the EB3 India date moving forward. Hopefully, it will move one week or more every visa bulletin from now on.

I-485 Pending inventory:

New I-485 inventory was released in Jan 2014. For EB2 India, there are 31,242 pending applications, whose priority is before 01 MAY 2010. For EB3 India, it is 32,066 applicants before 01 SEPT 2007 Priority date. 

There should be another update on the inventory data. We will keep you posted once it comes out.

Demand Data:

There is no demand data yet corresponding to May 2014 bulletin.

Links:

You can see the official May 2014 Visa Bulletin here - http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin/2014/visa-bulletin-for-may-2014.html

You can see the official Demand Data here -http://www.travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Statistics/Immigrant-Statistics/EmploymentDemandUsedForCutOffDates.pdf

You can see the official I-485 pending inventory Data here - 
http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-through-job/previous-pending-employment-based-i-485-inventory/pending-employment-based-i-485-inventory

Friday, March 14, 2014

Non-Machine Readable Passports should be renewed


If you have not yet seen the news, all the non-Machine Readable Passports (non-MRP) has to be renewed by 25 November 2015.

According to the notice issued by Government of India, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has decided to get away with handwritten passports. It says, "All handwritten passports with pasted photos earlier issued by Government of India are considered non-MRP passports. All 20-year validity passports will also fall in this category."

If you have a non-MRP passport it is better to renew it sooner. It says, lot of countries may reject visa and entry into their countries, if you have non-MRP passport.

The news article below says this -- " From November 25, 2015, foreign governments may deny visa or entry to persons travelling with non-MRP passports. The Union government started issuing machine readable passports since 2001 and all new Indian passports are ICAO-compliant MRP passports."

Government of India notice -- http://passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/pdf/Public_Notice_Machine_Readable_Passports.pdf

News from TheHindu --
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/nonmachine-readable-passports-to-go-by-november-2015/article5533519.ece

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

April 2014 Visa Bulletin and Analysis


April 2014 Visa Bulletin was released last week. 

EB2:

Date for EB2 India is 15 NOV 04 and EB2 China is 08 MAR 09. The cut-off for all other EB2 countries are Current.

The good news is EB2 China keeps moving forward. Almost a month movement.

As expected no movement for EB2 India. I think EB2 India dates is going to stay the same till June 2014 Visa Bulletin. It might start moving big from July 2014.

If you are waiting to file I-485, please use this opportunity to gather all the documents and keep it in place:



EB3:

Cut-off dates for EB3 India is 15 SEP 03 and EB3 Philippines is 15 JUN 07 and all other countries is 01 SEP 12.

Good news here is all countries except India and Philippines are at 01 OCT 12. Also, their corresponding dates have moved 1 month from last Visa Bulletin. For Philippines it has moved 1.5 months.

In a surprise move, the EB3 India date didn't move forward. I was expecting it to move one week per visa bulletin.

I-485 Pending inventory:

New I-485 inventory was released in Jan 2014. Thanks to USCIS for improving the format. It is much easier to read now. The CSV download has been replaced by excel download, which gives different tabs for different countries.

There are 118,478 applicants pending in the new inventory data while it was 116,159 last time. 

EB2 India has 31,242 applicants pending before 01 MAY 2010. The number has reduced from 32,539 from the last time data. There are 12,405 applicants before 01 JAN 09 priority date. Depending on the number of applicants porting from EB3 to EB2, the date can very well cross 01 JAN 09 this year, assuming the same amount of spillover EB2 India gets like previous years.

EB3 India has 32,066 applicants before 01 SEPT 2007 Priority date. Even though it has reduced from 34,336 from last inventory data, the number for Dec 2003 has increased from 885 to 1304. This makes it tough for the dates to cross DEC 2003 by Sept 2014.

There still seems to be some data errors. For example, there are 5 applicants listed under EB2 India for August 2013. There is one applicant listed under EB3 Philippines for May 2008. 

Demand Data:

There is no demand data yet corresponding to April 2014 bulletin.

Links:

You can see the official April 2014 Visa Bulletin here - http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin/2014/visa-bulletin-for-april-2014.html

You can see the official Demand Data here -http://www.travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Statistics/Immigrant-Statistics/EmploymentDemandUsedForCutOffDates.pdf

You can see the official I-485 pending inventory Data here - 
http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-through-job/previous-pending-employment-based-i-485-inventory/pending-employment-based-i-485-inventory

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

March 2014 Visa Bulletin and analysis

March 2014 Visa Bulletin was released last week. The Department of State has updated their website and it looks much better. We are still getting used to it with the navigation and new updated links.

EB2:

Date for EB2 India is 15 NOV 04 and EB2 China is 15 FEB 09. The cut-off for all other EB2 countries are Current.

The good news is EB2 China keeps moving forward. One more month this time.

I think EB2 India dates is going to stay the same till June 2014 Visa Bulletin. It might start moving big from July 2014.

The prediction section under the visa bulletin says that, there won't be any movement for EB2 India for now and there will be 3 to 5 weeks movement for EB2 China.

If you are waiting to file I-485, please use this opportunity to gather all the documents and keep it in place:



EB3:

Cut-off dates for EB3 India is 15 SEP 03 and EB3 Philippines is 01 MAY 07 and all other countries is 01 SEP 12.

Good news here is all countries except India and Philippines are at 01 SEP 12. Also, their corresponding dates have moved 3 months from last Visa Bulletin. For Philippines it has moved 2 weeks. Finally, we have seen 15 days movement for EB3 India.

The prediction section under the visa bulletin says that, EB3 Philippines will move 3 to 6 weeks. They inform that there will be very little movement for EB3 India in the coming months. They also inform that this might the case for rest of the countries as well. 

I-485 Pending inventory:

New I-485 inventory was expected last month. There is no update yet on that. I-485 data will tell us a lot more about the number of applicants. It will also help us predict the date movements. We will keep a watch on that.

Demand Data:

Finally, the department of state has released the demand data this year. It shows that the demand is 10,550  under EB2 India category. For EB3 India, the number is 2,775. 

Links:

You can see the official March 2014 Visa Bulletin here - http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin/2014/visa-bulletin-for-march-2014.html

You can see the official Demand Data here -http://www.travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Statistics/Immigrant-Statistics/EmploymentDemandUsedForCutOffDates.pdf

You can see the official I-485 pending inventory Data here - 
http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-through-job/previous-pending-employment-based-i-485-inventory/pending-employment-based-i-485-inventory

Friday, January 17, 2014

FY 2013 Employment Based Green Card Numbers



Department Of State has released the FY 2013 --  Oct 2012 to Sept 2013 Green Card numbers.

161,269 Green cards had been given under the Employment Based category last year.

India numbers are here:
EB1 -- 9,640
EB2 -- 17,193
EB3 -- 7,816
EB4 -- 562
EB5 -- 87
Total EB -- 35,298

Please do check this page for previous year's numbers:
http://ambals.blogspot.com/2013/08/employment-based-immigrant-visa-numbers.html

Complete report can be found here:
http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/statistics/annual-reports/report-of-the-visa-office-2013.html