Official Predictions on Priority Date Movement for FY14

Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Immigrant Visa Control Unit at the U.S. Department of State (DOS), recently provided expectations for cutoff date movement for the remainder of fiscal year 2014 (FY14). There is no one better positioned than Mr. Oppenheim, as the chief of the office responsible for issuing the monthly visa bulletin, to make these predictions based on usage of immigrant visa numbers and trends in the different categories and chargeability areas. However, it is important to understand that these are only predictions, not guarantees.

FB2A Category Likely to Retrogress to 2012

The family-based, second preference “A” (FB2A) category is for a foreign national being sponsored as the spouse or (unmarried, minor) child of a lawful permanent resident (LPR or “green card” holder). The DOS predicts that, at some point during the 2014 summer, FB2A for worldwide, or rest of the world (ROW), is likely to retrogress by more than a year, to 2012 priority dates. FB2A Mexico, which already has rolled back to April 2012, is expected to experience further retrogression in the very near future.

FB2B Likely to Move Forward

The FB2B category is for unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age or older) of permanent residents. Mr. Oppenheim believes this category will continue to advance because demand is relatively low. However, he anticipates that demand will pick up as the priority dates move forward, and the rate of progression will decrease. This shift is anticipated potentially at some point during the next fiscal year.

EB2 India Likely to Move Forward to Jan 2008

The DOS predicts that by September 2014, the employment-based, second preference (EB2) category for India will advance to at least January 1, 2008. This movement will be to ensure that the remaining visa numbers under the employment-based, first preference (EB1) category, and any overflow from the EB2 category in the ROW, do not go unused, as they are allowed to shift over into the oversubscribed categories to avoid waste. This is similar to what occurred last year, but the total available excess visa numbers that will become available to the EB2 India category is likely to be less than that experienced in calendar year 2013.

EB3 Worldwide Expected to Retrogress Further

Employment-based, third preference (EB3) ROW is not expected to move forward in the coming months. In fact, retrogression may occur due to an increase in demand possibly as soon as June 2014. Similarly, EB3 China has experienced an increase in demand that could lead to retrogression, in part because many Chinese applicants have been “downgrading” from the EB2 category. See the MurthyDotCom NewBrief, Considerations for EB3 to EB2 “Upgrade” (04.Feb.2014) for more on this unusual phenomenon.

EB5 China Expected to Retrogress by FY2015 or Earlier

The employment-based, fifth preference (EB5) category for China is almost certainly going to experience retrogression by fiscal year 2015, if not sooner, according to the DOS.


Visa bulletin predictions nearly always bring a mixture of good and bad news. Foreign nationals need to pay close attention to these dates, and should not procrastinate in taking action when possible, as priority dates are always subject to change.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.