Family Visa Bulletin:
June 2019 Analysis & Predictions

All Countries | Mexico | Philippines | India F4

August 2019 Predictions

All Countries – July 2019 Visa Bulletin

Preference
Final Action
Movement
Remark

🌐All Countries Visa Bulletin for July 2019

F1Mar 8, 2012+3 weeksFiscal Year 2019 is shaping up to be a solid year for F1 - All Countries. Not as great as FY2016 or FY2017, but above the average of the last 20 years. We expect steady 4-week to 5-week advancement per month until the end of the Fiscal Year in September 2019.F1 Predictions
F2AJul 1, 2019+102 weeksObviously the State Department thinks it was significantly behind in terms of F2A Green Cards issued for Fiscal Year 2019, and running the risk of not using all their quotas. Moving to 'current' means that interviews for all applicants who are 'interview-ready' can be scheduled. So be ready and if you can, file the rest of your documents as soon as possible.F2A Predictions
F2BSep 1, 2013+15 weeksIt looks like Fiscal Year 2019 will be the best of the last 20 years in terms of advancement, as the incredible pace of advancement we have seen since March 2019 is maintained in July 2019. We are hopeful that there will be no significant retrogression in the coming months, as F2B - All Countries essentially caught up with its 10-year historical trend.F2B Predictions
F3Mar 8, 2007+10 weeksFiscal Year 2019 is now a solidly an above average year with a year-best +10-week advancement in July 2019. We still expect 3-week to 4-week advancement in the coming months with may be a 'technical' retrogression near the end of the Fiscal Year (in September 2019).F3 Predictions
F4Jun 15, 2006+10 weeksThe pace of advancement of F4 - All Countries picked up considerably since February 2019. For the first 10 months of the year, Fiscal Year 2019 is in line to be one of the best years of the last twenty years. F4 - All Countries caught up with its 20-year historical trendline, and this is great news for applicants.F4 Predictions

Latest

What is special about the July 2019 Visa Bulletin?

USCIS Fiscal Year ends in October 2019 (not in December), so in July we are near the end. USCIS is trying at this point to make sure that 1) it is not going over annual numerical limits, and 2) it is using all of the visas at its disposal. That is why some of the movements we are witnessing are extreme, either to schedule more Interviews, or to prevent any Interview to be scheduled.

Don’t see your Priority Date? Want to know when your Interview will take place? Get more details with Immigration Planner.

Mexico – July 2019 Visa Bulletin

Preference
Final Action
Movement
Remark

🇲🇽Mexico Visa Bulletin for July 2019

F1Aug 1, 1996-54 weeksSo after generating enough applications through aggressive advancement during Fiscal Year 2018, it looks like U.S. immigration agencies have enough applicants who are 'interview-ready' to meet the annual numerical limits. It is therefore highly unlikely that we will see any positive movement before October 2019.F1 Predictions
F2AJul 1, 2019+104 weeksObviously the State Department thinks it was significantly behind in terms of F2A Green Cards issued for Fiscal Year 2019, and running the risk of not using all their quotas. Moving to 'current' means that interviews for all applicants who are 'interview-ready' can be scheduled. So be ready and if you can, file the rest of your documents as soon as possible.F2A Predictions
F2BApr 15, 1998+4 weeksIt is highly recommended to take advantage of the rapid F2B advancement in this Fiscal Year 2019, as it seems to contain the seeds of a future retrogression. The current pace is significantly above anything we have seen in the last 20 years, so this is unlikely to continue for long.F2B Predictions
F3Jul 1, 1995-34 weeksThe advancement of Fiscal Year 2018 obviously created enough applications that are 'interview-ready' for the annual numerical limits to be reached. Now the focus of U.S. immigration agencies is actually to limit the number of interviews. We do not anticipate any positive advancement before October 2019 and the new Fiscal Year.F3 Predictions
F4Jan 1, 1997-58 weeksIn spite of limited, below-average advancement during the last few years, it looks like F4 - Mexico will shut down for the rest of the Fiscal Year and that we will not see positive movement until October 2019.F4 Predictions

Philippines – July 2019 Visa Bulletin

Preference
Final Action
Movement
Remark

🇵🇭Philippines Visa Bulletin for July 2019

F1Aug 22, 2007+8 weeksWith the solid advancement of July 2019, F1 - Philippines is getting closer to being in line with the averages of the last 20 years.F1 Predictions
F2AJul 1, 2019+102 weeksObviously the State Department thinks it was significantly behind in terms of F2A Green Cards issued for Fiscal Year 2019, and running the risk of not using all their quotas. Moving to 'current' means that interviews for all applicants who are 'interview-ready' can be scheduled. So be ready and if you can, file the rest of your documents as soon as possible.F2A Predictions
F2BJan 1, 2008+6 weeksThe momentum is still on for F2B - Philippines, which seems to follow the pattern of the last few years with a strong second half of the Fiscal Year.F2B Predictions
F3Aug 1, 1997+25 weeksWe have been the kind of progress that is usually followed by a brutal retrogression. So it is highly recommended to try to benefit from it if you can...F3 Predictions
F4Jan 1, 1998+30 weeksIt looks like U.S. immigration agencies undershot, and are trying to schedule as many interviews as possible before the end of the Fiscal Year. Again, try to benefit from it if you can...F4 Predictions

India – July 2019 Visa Bulletin

🇮🇳India F4 – July 2019

F4
Latest
Visa Bulletin Date:Jul 2019
Chargeability:India
Final Action Date:Aug 22, 2004
Movement:+1 weeks

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Frequently Asked Questions

Your Priority Date is the date when Form I-130 filed by the sponsor is accepted by USCIS. Form I-130 is accepted by USCIS when all required fields are filled out, the proper fee is enclosed, and the form is signed. As a result, ‘accepted’, is a few days after ‘received’ and a few months and years before ‘approved’. The Priority Date is displayed on the receipt sent by USCIS (Form I-797C).

Applicants who are eligible under a ‘preference’ classification (F1, F2A, F2B, F3, F4) have a Priority Date, because they are subject to Annual Numerical Limits: the number of Green Cards that can be granted annually under their ‘preference’ is capped.

Note: If you have a Receipt Date, and not a Priority Date, then you are an ‘immediate relative’ and the Visa Bulletin does not apply to you.

The ‘Final Action Date’ (F.A.D.) that applies to you depends on your ‘country of chargeability’ (All Countries, Mexico, the Philippines, and India for F4) and your ‘immigration category’ (F1, F2A, F2B, F3, and F4).

Your ‘country of chargeability’ is generally the country where you were born. If you were not born in Mexico, the Philppines or India, then your country of chargeability is ‘All Countries’. You can read the FAQ ‘What is your country of chargeability?’ if you are in doubt.

Your ‘immigration category’ depends on the sponsor’s legal status (U.S. Citizen or Green Card Holder), the family relationship between applicant and sponsor (spouse, child, or sibling), the age of the applicant (20 years or younger, 21 years or older), and the marital status of the applicant (married, or not married).

Your country of chargeability is where you were born, not where you currently reside. For example, applicants who were born in the Philippines but who currently hold a French passport will be ‘charged’ to the Philippines, not France.

There are however instances where applicants can be ‘charged’ to a country that is not the country where they were born. This matters only to applicants who were born in Mexico, the Philippines and F4-India applicants:

  • Spouses who are immigrating together, but were born in different countries, can pick the most beneficial country of chargeability
  • F2A-Spouses whose lawful permanent resident spouse was born in a different country may use the lawful permanent resident spouse’s country of chargeability, if more favorable
  • Children can cross-charge to a country of chargeability of the parent he or she is immigrating with or following to join
  • If a person is born in country where neither of his or her parents had citizenship or permanent residence, the person’s country of chargeability can be the country of either of his parents’ birth.

Your immigration category depends on the sponsor’s legal status (U.S. Citizen or Green Card Holder), the family relationship between applicant and sponsor (spouse, child, or sibling), the age of the applicant (20 years or younger, 21 years or older), and the marital status of the applicant (married, or not married):

Sponsor's Status
Family Relationship
Applicant's Marital Status
Applicant's Age
Immigration Category
Green Card HolderSpouseMarried20- or 21+F2A
Green Card HolderChildMarried20- or 21+F2B
Green Card HolderChildNot Married20-F2A
Green Card HolderChildNot Married21+F2B
U.S. CitizenChildNot Married20- or 21+F1
U.S. CitizenChildMarried20- or 21+F3
U.S. CitizenSiblingMarried or Not Married20- or 21+F4

Immigration Category Change
The applicant’s immigration category may change if the applicant gets married, turns 21, or if the sponsor gets married:

Initial Category
Change in Marital Status
Applicant's Age
Sponsor becomes a U.S. Citizen
New category
F2A ChildApplicant gets married--F2B
F2A Child-Applicant turns 21 and is not CSPA protected-F2B
F2A Child or SpouseSponsor becomes a USCImmediate Relative Child or Spouse
F2B--Sponsor becomes a USCF1 ('opt-out' possible)
F1Applicant gets married--F3
F3Applicant gets divorced--F1

‘Derivative Applicants’ who are the children of ‘Principal Applicants’ will no longer be eligible for a Green Card if:

  • They get married; or
  • They turn 21 and are not CSPA protected.

The Visa Bulletin that is in effect for a calendar month is the one that is ‘current’. In other words, during the calendar month of October, the dates of the October Visa Bulletin apply. The dates of the November Visa Bulletin do not apply in October, even if the November Visa Bulletin is released in early October.

If your immigration category is F1, F2A, F2B, F3, F4 and if you live in the United States and you are going through Adjustment of Status, then you can use the Filing Date to determine whether you are allowed to file Form I-485.

Less than 2% of all Family Green Card applicants can use the Filing Date (15,000 out of 800,000 in Fiscal Year 2016). The main reasons the Filing Date is not used are:

  • Filing Date cannot be used by applicants going through Consular Processing
  • Most applicants going through Adjustment of Status are Immediate Relatives, not ‘preference’ applicants who have to maintain valid U.S. status for extended periods of time.

Unfortunately no. The dates listed in the Visa Bulletin are the first date for which a Green Card number is not available. For example, if the Final Action Date is Jan 1st 2016, applicants with a Priority Date of Jan 1st 2016 are not ‘current’ when compared to the Final Action Date.

In theory yes, in reality no.

The Welcome Letter is sent by the National Visa Center (NVC) to family applicants under a ‘preference’ classification (F1, F2A, F2B, F3, F4) going through Consular Processing. Welcome Letters contain information that enable applicants who have an approved I-130 to file their Green Card Application.

So Filing Dates and Welcome Letters have the same purpose: determining when applicants can file their Green Card application whether through Form I-485 (adjustment of status) or Form DS-260 (Consular Processing). In theory, they should be the same. Filing Dates should simply ‘expose’ when applicants are within 12 months of their Final Action Dates becoming current. That way the NVC could make sure that Green Card applications are ‘interview-ready’ and schedule the Interview as soon as the Final Action Date becomes current.

Unfortunately, the reality is that generally Filing Dates do not become current within 12 months, and that Welcome Letters are generally sent when the Final Action Date is current, or about to become current.

That is why Immigration Planner releases Predictions about Final Action Dates, and not Filing Dates.

It depends. In order to see what our latest conclusions are, please read our post dedicated to this issue.

The process of scheduling the interview is initiated by U.S. immigration agencies when the following two requirements are met:

  • The applicant’s Priority Date is ‘current’ when compared to the relevant ‘Final Action Date’
  • The applicant’s Green Card Case is ‘interview-ready’ (also called ‘case complete’ or ‘documentarily qualified’, meaning that all the proper Forms, Evidence, and Fees necessary to make a decision on the Green Card Application have been received by U.S. Immigration Agencies).

Being ‘current’ means that the applicant’s Priority Date (which is when Form I-130 was filed) is ‘earlier’ than the relevant Final Action Date. If the relevant Final Action Date is January 1st 2018, then applicants with a Priority Date ‘earlier’ (that is up to December 31st 2016) are said to be current.
The relevant Final Action Date refers to the Final Action Date that applies to applicants based on their preference classification (F1, F2A, F2B, F3, F4) and countries of birth (Mexico, All Countries, …).

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.

Here are some of the things Immigration Planner’s tools help you think through while you wait:

  1. Maintaining your eligibility to your Green Card category. Things might for instance change if you get married!
  2. For applicants living in the United States, maintaining your eligibility to the adjustment of status process
  3. Establishing if you will need a waiver, and getting ready if you do
  4. Anticipate if there is a risk for your children to ‘age-out’ and whether the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) might protect them
  5. Anticipate whether the sponsor becoming a U.S Citizen could be favorable, or would lead you to ‘opt-out’ of your new immigration category
  6. Be prepared to file the rest of the Green Card application as soon as U.S. immigration agencies allow it.

‘Documentarily qualified’, ‘Case complete’, ‘pre-processing’, ‘interview-ready’ all mean that U.S. immigration agencies have received all the Forms, Evidence, and Fees necessary to make a decision on the Green Card application. This is an administrative assessment that all the Forms and Documents have been filed because when they are not, a Request for Evidence is issued.

For ‘preference’ applicants who have a ‘current’ Priority Date when compared to the Final Action Date, the next step depends on the Green Card Process:

  • For applicants going through Consular Processing, the National Visa Center (NVC) will transfer the Green Card application to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad (outside the United States)
  • For applicants going through Adjustment of Status, the National Benefit Center (NBC) will transfer the Green Card application to a USCIS Field Office (inside the United States)

The decision about the Green Card application will be made by the Consular Officer (a Department of State employee) for Consular Processing, or the Adjudicating Officer (a USCIS employee) for Adjustment of Status.

Immigration Planner: Forms and Status

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Guides

We did the research so you don’t have to.

What you need to know about NVC form DS-260 before and after you file.

6 important steps to complete, latest news and updates, and FAQ.

FAQ, tips and details about NVC steps and how to do accomplish this online.

Related Resources

USCIS PROCESSING TIMES FOR FORM I-485

Latest USCIS I-485 ‘Processing Times’ and ‘Case Inquiry Dates’, historical trends and analysis.

Learn More
Should I ‘Opt-Out’ Of F1 And Stay In F2B?

Analysis of the 'distance' in the Visa Bulletin for family Green Card applicants under F1 and F2B for Mexico, The Philippines, and All Countries.