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Expect EB-2/EB-3 Worldwide Retrogression In The Coming Months

According to the Department of State, the EB-2 and EB-3 Worldwide categories, which have fortunately remained current for quite some time, may experience retrogression in the coming months. The demand in these categories has apparently increased significantly more than anticipated, and may require the imposition of a final action date as early as next month’s (August 2019) Visa Bulletin. We strongly encourage anyone in these categories whose windows are currently open to immediately take action and file their adjustment of status applications.


Copied from Check-in with DOS’s Charlie Oppenheim:



The week prior to Memorial Day, Charlie started receiving a different demand pattern from USCIS than what he had received in recent months. During this time, the demand in the employment-based categories began to pick up, with the daily totals increasing quickly. For example, through May 21, 2019, approximately 1,800 visa numbers were used in the EB-2 category, and between May 22, 2019 and May 31, 2019, another 1,300 numbers were used. The June 2019 pace of demand continues to be higher than earlier in FY2019. This is in combination with USCIS’s projected high summer usage.

Based on this data, whereas Charlie previously believed EB-2 Worldwide might remain current through FY2019, this no longer remains the case. Charlie now anticipates that this category will have a Final Action Date imposed during FY19, and possibly as early as August 2019. At this time, he is unable to predict how far back the date imposed might be. As Charlie knows how many numbers remain available and how many USCIS predicts will materialize, he will continue to watch the demand in this category very closely. While it is possible that the Final Action Date for EB-2 Worldwide will hold in August 2019 and be limited to September 2019, AILA members are cautioned to file any current cases through the month of July 2019, as it is unclear whether these priority dates will still be current in August 2019. Charlie’s goal is, if possible, to return the Final Action Date for this category to current in October 2019

In July, EB-2 China advances three months to November 1, 2016. Charlie predicts that this category may share a Final Action Date with the EB-2 Worldwide category, if corrective action is required for EB-2 Worldwide in August 2019.

EB-2 India advances 5 days to April 24, 2009 in July. Charlie predicts that this category will continue to advance at a pace of up to one week until the limit is reached.


As with EB-2, Charlie is starting to see heavy demand in the EB-3 category, in addition to USCIS projections for additional demand. This demand is causing similar changes in the projections for this category.

Whereas Charlie had been predicting that EB-3 Worldwide (including EB-3 El SalvadorGuatemala and Honduras and EB-3 Mexico) seemed likely to remain current through FY2019, that is no longer the case. Charlie has now modified his prediction and expects retrogression at some point during this fiscal year, perhaps as early as August 2019.

EB-3 China advances 3.5 months to January 1, 2016 in July, and EB-3 China Other Workers advances about two months to November 22, 2007. Charlie continues to predict advancement of up to several months for the EB-3 category.

The Final Action Date for EB-3 India continues to hold at July 1, 2009, with little if any forward movement predicted in the immediate future. Last year, action on all of the pre-adjudicated EB-3 India numbers from the 2007 Adjustment of Status filings were finalized. Charlie’s only visibility to the demand in this category comes from new filings, which are coming in at a steady pace. Part of the reason that this category was allowed to advance is that Charlie assumed that the rest of the world numbers would not be used, as had been the case for the past five fiscal years. However, this year there are no extra EB-3 numbers available from other countries to transfer to EB-3 India. Therefore, in order to limit future use of numbers, any required corrective action for EB-3 Worldwide will also impact the Final Action Date for EB-3 India.

As recently predicted, EB-3 Philippines will become current in July 2019, advancing from the June 2019 Final Action Date of November 1, 2018. However, Charlie expects this category to reflect the EB-3 Worldwide date, meaning that there may be a short window for applicants to file between now and the end of July 2019, when the Final Action Date for EB-3 Worldwide may retrogress.



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