DOS Comments on Priority Dates Movement for FY 2012-2013

US Department of State, which is responsible for monitoring and controlling the priority date movement, has made the following comments regarding the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 (October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013):

EB-2 China and India
In October 2012 EB-2 for China-Mainland born and India, which are currently "unavailable," will move to August or September 2007 (China may be better, slightly ahead). It is unlikely that the cut-off dates will move forward at all till April 2013 (which will show up in Visa Bulletin for March 2013). The movement is likely by at least a few months. An advance of six months is possible, although an advance of one year is not likely.
DOS cannot predict demand and priority date changes in the last quarter of FY2012 (July-September 2013).

EB-2 worldwide
EB-2 worldwide will be current in October 2012.

If USCIS approves many pending cases during the month of June, the worldwide EB-2 category may retrogress or become unavailable for the rest of the year.

Further Comments and Predictions from DOS
As a preface, DOS noted that USCIS claims that the number of people using EB3 to EB2 upgrades is insignificant. DOS estimates that number to be 10,000-15,000 per year. USCIS does not track these numbers until the green card is approved. That creates a problem in keeping accurate counts because the same person is counted twice for retrogression and priority dates movements. Of course, when the green card is approved the duplication is removed, but in the meantime, PD movement, which is based upon predictions, can get affected unnecessarily.

The usage for EB-1 cases has fallen drastically. This could be because of the economy (but in our view, it is primarily because of the unrealistically high standards of qualification and proof).
About 34% of the total number of green card numbers has been used this year, and 45% should be used by end of February.

Adjustment of status through USCIS accounts for 85% to 90% of all EB green card cases. Only 10-15% people obtain green cards through consular processing.

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