Family-based Green Card F1 preference: Predictions for the ‘Final Action date’

What is this prediction about?
This is a prediction of the ‘Final Action Date’ of the Visa Bulletin for family Green Cards F1 (Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens) for ‘All Countries’ (not Mexico and not the Philippines) based on the latest available data (August 2018).

Only applicants who have priority date that is ‘current’ when compared to the ‘Final Action Date’ can have the process of scheduling a Green Card interview initiated by U.S. immigration agencies. Being ‘current’ means that the applicant’s priority date is ‘earlier’ than the Final Action Date that applies to them: if the Final Action Date is January 1st, 2017; then applicants with a priority date of December 25th 2016 are current;  but applicants with a priority date of January 5th, 2017 are not current.

The month when the applicant’s priority date is current, U.S. immigration agencies look for an available Interview slot in the month after next (if the applicant’s priority date becomes current in January, then they will start looking for slots in March). How long applicants wait depend on how busy the U.S. Consulate or USCIS Field office is.

Also, generally, family Green Card applicants who live in the United States and go through adjustment of status can use the ‘Filing Date’ of the Visa Bulletin to determine if they can file form I-485 (we will confirm in the next few days whether that is again the case in August 2018 as USCIS releases that information).

What does Immigration Planner predict?
F1 has again a positive movement in August 2018 with a 2-week advancement (June 2018 was flat and July 2018 also had a 2-week advancements). However, the Fiscal Year (which started in October 2017) remains one of the worst of the last 20 years. Our current predictions are as follows:

More specifically, these are the dates we predict:

Visa Bulletin Predictions for F1 Final Action Dates.
Visa Bulletin
F1 Final Action date
Jan 2018Mar 15, 2011actual
Feb 2018Mar 15, 2011actual
Mar 2018Mar 22, 2011actual
Apr 2018Apr 8, 2011actual
May 2018Apr 8, 2011actual
Jun 2018Apr 8, 2011actual
Jul 2018Apr 22, 2011actual
Aug 2018May 8, 2011actual
Sep 2018May 22, 2011prediction
Oct 2018Jun 8, 2011prediction
Nov 2018Jun 22, 2011prediction
Dec 2018Jul 1, 2011prediction
Jan 2018Jul 15, 2011prediction
Feb 2018Aug 8, 2011prediction
Mar 2018Sep 1, 2011prediction
Apr 2018Oct 1, 2011prediction
May 2018Oct 22, 2011prediction
Jun 2018Nov 22, 2011prediction
Jul 2018Dec 22, 2011prediction
Aug 2018Jan 15, 2012prediction
Sep 2018Feb 15, 2012prediction
Oct 2018Mar 8, 2012prediction
Nov 2018Apr 8, 2012prediction
Dec 2018May 1, 2012prediction
Jan 20May 22, 2012prediction
Feb 20Jun 22, 2012prediction
Mar 20Jul 22, 2012prediction
Apr 20Aug 15, 2012prediction
May 20Sep 8, 2012prediction
Jun 20Oct 8, 2012prediction
Jul 20Nov 1, 2012prediction
Aug 20Dec 1, 2012prediction
Sep 20Dec 22, 2012prediction

What is the ‘time to current’ for F1?
Looking back, this is how long it took for prior applicants to have their priority date become current. For F1, the latest available data shows it took just under 7 years:

Should you ‘opt-out’ of F1?
When sponsors who were Green Card holders become U.S. Citizen, their over-21-year-old unmarried children are moved from F2B to F1. But these applicants can also ‘opt-out’ from F1 and stay in F2B. Should they? Right now, they should strongly consider it. For ‘all countries’, F1 is currently ‘behind’ F2B by 5.5 months:

What happened since the beginning of the new fiscal year in October 2017?
If you compare the advancement with the last 20 years (the thick red line represents the last months of known data), Fiscal Year 2018 is one of the worst of the last 20 years.

What happened last year?
During fiscal year 2017, the final action date advanced quite rapidly and then plateaued. It still was a very strong year for F1. As a result however, it is likely that U.S. immigration agencies created a lot of ‘inventory’ (pending applications) that they have to go through in Fiscal Year 2018.

When will Immigration Planner update its predictions and why?
The next update will be around August 15th, 2018 when the Visa Bulletin for September 2018 will be released by U.S. immigration agencies. Immigration Planner is updating its predictions every month based on the latest available Visa Bulletin.