USCIS Updates I-485 Pending Inventory Charts: January 2016

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released the latest charts detailing the number of employment-based (EB) adjustment-of-status applications (form I-485) that are pending with the agency. The charts break down the number of pending I-485s by country of chargeability, EB category, and priority date month and year.

USCIS I-485 Charts for January 2016

The USCIS provides updated I-485 inventory charts on a quarterly basis. The volume of cases waiting for visa numbers and the apportionment of those cases by country, category, and priority date is directly related to the progression of cutoff dates in the visa bulletin. These latest charts are based on the inventory from January 2016.

EB2 India: High Volume Continues

The overall volume of pending employment-based, second preference (EB2) cases for India increased by approximately 1,500 cases. This is a relatively small percentage and is likely attributable to employment-based, third preference (EB3) to EB2 “upgrade” cases. Out of the more than 20,000 pending EB2 India cases, over half have priority dates in 2009. Of course, since the cutoff date in this category has never moved past April 2010, there are no pending I-485s with priority dates later than that date.

As of January 2016, the volume of cases in this category with 2007 and earlier priority dates is fairly small. This, in turn, allows for further visa bulletin cutoff date movement. However, there are still over 2,500 pending cases with 2008 priority dates. Given that the final action EB2 India cutoff date in the April 2016 Visa Bulletin is November 8, 2008, it is hoped that a large chunk of these cases will move to approval in the near future.

EB2 China Downgrading

The pending EB2 and EB3 China I-485s reflect a far greater volume of EB2 cases than EB3. As of January 2016, there are fewer than 2,000 EB3 China cases pending. EB2 China, on the other hand, has more than 8,700 pending applications. The visa bulletin cutoff dates for EB2 China continue to be less favorable than EB3 China. Thus, China is still experiencing the phenomenon of “downgrading” from EB2 to EB3.


The EB3 category for the rest of the world has a cutoff date that is very close to current in the April 2016 Visa Bulletin. The January 2016 pending demand chart reflects the latest priority date for these cases as September 2015.

The EB3 India category remains highly backlogged, with over 19,000 pending cases, all with priority dates no later than 2007. Most of these cases have priority dates in the 2004 to 2006 date range. The sheer volume in this category, again, helps to clarify the reasons that the cutoff dates typically move at a snail’s pace for EB3 India.


The pending I-485 inventory charts reflect the demand side of the visa bulletin cutoff date supply-and-demand equation. MurthyDotCom will continue to update readers regarding I-485 issues and matters related  to the visa bulletin.


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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.