The November visa bulletin was just released and has left many applicants disappointed, especially those who filed a downgrade from EB-2 to EB-3.
However, this was to be expected, based on Charlie Oppenheim’s comments during his last YouTube video, as well as the comments at the bottom of last month’s visa bulletin.
Charlie confirmed, during his last video, that the demand for EB-3 already exceeds the number of visas available for the rest of FY2022 and therefore retrogression was to be expected. This is due to a large number of EB-3 filings in October and November 2020.
See below for a comparison of the cut-off dates for EB-2 and EB-3 India from the October 2021 visa bulletin to the November 2021 visa bulletin:
October visa Bulletin-Final action dates
November visa Bulletin-Final action dates
EB-2 India Final action dates have advanced by 3 months, whereas EB-3 have retrogressed by approximately 2 years.
USCIS has once again announced that the filing date chart can be used for November, and these dates are listed below for India:
October visa Bulletin-Filing dates
November visa Bulletin-Filing dates
EB-2 India filing dates advanced by 6 months and EB-3 India filing dates have retrogressed by approximately 2 years.
So, what does this mean for all of the applicants who filed a downgrade last year?
It means that USCIS will not adjudicate your I-485 until your final action date becomes current under either EB-2 or EB-3. However, this also depends on whether the downgrade petition was filed as a new petition or an amended petition. If filed as a new petition the EB-2 petition remains intact. What this means, is that if your priority date becomes current under EB-2, even if you filed a downgrade to EB-3, USCIS should be able to adjudicate your case based on the prior EB-2. It is recommended to contact USCIS to specifically request this as USCIS will not necessarily joint the dots.
If your downgrade was filed as an amended petition then your prior EB-2 petition will be converted into an EB-3, and it may become necessary to file an upgrade to take advantage of the advancement in EB-2. If in doubt talk to your Attorney.
For any immigration-related queries please contact PLG partner, Chris Prescott at firstname.lastname@example.org.