While the Department of State’s Visa Control and Reporting Division had hoped it would not be necessary to include a cut-off date in the first preference category, that cut-off has come to pass. In its June 2017 Visa Bulletin, DOS states that, due to heightened demand, beginning on June 1, 2017, for both India and China, the priority date for the EB-1 visa category is backed up to January 1, 2012. The DOS anticipates that EB-1 visa numbers will become current again in October 2017.

China third preference (EB-3) with a June priority date of October 1, 2014, did not move, but is still ahead of China second preference (EB-2), which moved forward to a March 1, 2013, priority date. This “upside down” phenomenon will continue until the number of downgrades requested shifts the balance back. For India, in contrast, “upgrades” affect the wait. The EB-2 category moved forward to July 1, 2008, because of fewer than expected upgrades to that category.

Unless the system for establishing wait lines for employment-based immigrant visa is changed, market phenomenon will continue to control the priority dates.

The DOS is expected to announce the week of May 15 whether earlier “filing date” charts will be usable in June. If the filing date charts can be used, then those in the EB-1 category would still be able to file adjustment of status applications in June.

Please contact your Jackson Lewis attorney with any questions.