September 17, 2018


by Rabindra Singh

On September 10, 2018, the Department of State released the first Visa Bulletin for the FY2019. Fast forward on September 14, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will utilize the “Filing Date” Chart in the Visa Bulletin for accepting employment-based preference Adjustment of Status applications for the month of October.

This is positive news for everyone, but not so for Indian Citizens who are in the EB-2 preference category. Filing Date Chart shows that EB-3 India priority date will surge ahead of EB-2 preference category. Per the Filing Date Chart, India EB-3 stands at October 1, 2009, while India EB-2 trails at May 22, 2009. Thus, India EB-3 priority date will surge ahead of EB-2 by more than 4 months.

India is following the example of its neighbor, China. For a long-time, and still is the case, China EB-3 priority date remained ahead of EB-2 preference category in the employment-based category. Though the “Final Action Date” Chart shows that India EB-2 is ahead of EB-3, the difference is minimal and if the trend continues like this then EB-2 India will soon start trailing on the Final Action Date Chart too.

The million dollar question to ask is: Is this the time for Indian Citizens to downgrade from EB-2 to EB-3 to make use of the fast moving priority date in EB-3 category so that years of checking visa bulletin could be avoided in the near future by obtaining lawful permanent residency in the United States?

Wait to make the downgrade move until Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, shares projection on the India priority date movement in the employment-based categories for the rest of the fiscal year.

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