F2B-All Countries: Visa Bulletin Predictions

What is happening with F2B- All Countries?

In order to fully understand where we are with F2B, we need to go back to Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019), which took place from October 2018 to September 2019. At the time, it feels like the Visa Office was unhappy with the ‘response rate’ to the Welcome Letters sent by the National Visa Center (NVC). In other words, they felt that not enough applicants were submitting forms and documents, and moving towards being ‘documentarily qualified’ (or ‘interview-ready’). As a consequence, they moved the F3 worldwide Final Action Date (F.A.D.) forward very rapidly during FY2019, making it the best in the last 20 years.

FY2020 is the year where the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and the weirdest thing happened: the Visa Office of the U.S. State Department advanced the F.A.D more rapidly during the second half of FY2020 (from April to September 2020) then it did during the first half of the year (from October 2019 to March 2020). In other words, the F.A.D. (Graph A.) advanced more after the pandemic started than before!

So let’s see how the last two Fiscal Years did when compared with the averages of prior decades. Here we are comparing the last two Fiscal Years (2020 and 2021) in red with an average of the last decade (2010 – 2019) that is shown in green, and the average of the decade before that (2000 – 2009) that is shown in blue.

Yes, obviously the decade of 2010 – 2019 is significantly slower than the 2000 – 2009 one, which means that the pace of advancement of F2B is slowing down. But the point here is that FY2020 and 2021 have essentially been on par with the average of the last decade, even when the number of F2B interviews was severely curtailed.
So what did we see? We saw the best year of the last 20 years (FY2019) followed by two years on par with recent averages that took place when not that many Green Card were issued.
The consequences of this sequence of events is easy to understand: there is a backlog of worldwide F2B applications that are either already ‘documentarily qualified’ at the National Visa Center (NVC), or that are on the verge of being so.
The State Department will have to go through this backlog of interviews before the F2B F.A.D can start moving forward again.

How did the Final Action Date move in the past few months?

F2B
Latest
Visa Bulletin Date:May 2022
Chargeability:allCountries
Final Action Date:Sep 22, 2015
Movement:None
Fiscal Year 2020 and 2021 have essentially been on par with the average of the last decade, even when the number of F2B interviews was severely reduced by the pandemic. As a consequence, there is a backlog of worldwide F2B applications that are either already ‘documentarily qualified’ at the National Visa Center (NVC) and the State Department will need to go through that backlog before we can see the dates move forward again.

See here for F2B Mexico and the Philippines.


F2B
Last Six
Visa Bulletin
Final Action
Movement
May 2022Sep 22, 2015None
Apr 2022Sep 22, 2015None
Mar 2022Sep 22, 2015None
Feb 2022Sep 22, 2015None
Jan 2022Sep 22, 2015None
Dec 2021Sep 22, 2015None


What does Immigration Planner predict?

The key of our short-term prediction is that there will be no ‘forward movement’ for F2B-All Countries until September 2022, at the vert least. This has been stated numerous times by Charlie Oppenheim, who is the head of the ‘Visa Office’ that makes the decision about the Visa Bulletin (you can listen to him talking about the family preferences in November 2021 at  on this Youtube video).

F2B, All Countries – Final Action Dates Predictions for the next two years:

You are going to have to use our web app to get longer terms predictions (which is free, and it takes only a few minutes to get results), but this will give you a sense of where we see things going in the short term –>

Our latest predictions for the Final Action Dates of F2B for 🌐All Countries.
Children of Green Card holders who are adults, but not married.

Visa Bulletin
Final Action
Jun 2022Sep 22, 2015
Jul 2022Sep 22, 2015
Aug 2022Sep 22, 2015
Sep 2022Sep 22, 2015
Oct 2022Sep 29, 2015
Nov 2022Oct 6, 2015
Dec 2022Oct 13, 2015
Jan 2023Oct 20, 2015
Feb 2023Oct 27, 2015
Mar 2023Nov 3, 2015
Apr 2023Nov 10, 2015
May 2023Nov 17, 2015
Jun 2023Nov 24, 2015
Jul 2023Dec 1, 2015
Aug 2023Dec 8, 2015
Sep 2023Dec 15, 2015
Oct 2023Jan 14, 2016
Nov 2023Feb 13, 2016
Dec 2023Mar 14, 2016
Jan 2024Apr 13, 2016
Feb 2024May 13, 2016
Mar 2024Jun 12, 2016
Apr 2024Jul 13, 2016
May 2024Aug 12, 2016
Jun 2024Sep 11, 2016
Jul 2024Oct 11, 2016
Aug 2024Nov 10, 2016
Sep 2024Dec 10, 2016
Oct 2024Jan 10, 2017
Nov 2024Feb 9, 2017
Dec 2024Mar 11, 2017
Jan 2025Apr 10, 2017
Feb 2025May 10, 2017
Mar 2025Jun 9, 2017
Apr 2025Jul 10, 2017
May 2025Aug 9, 2017

Don’t see your Priority Date? Want to know when your Interview will take place? Get a detailed, personalized Timeline with Date Predictions for each step.

What can we say about ‘time to current’?

Time to current measures the time it takes an applicant to have their ‘priority date’ current when compared to the ‘final action date’ of the Visa Bulletin. Although not factually correct, time to current is often used by applicants as an estimation of how long it is going to take them to get their Green Card. We also make predictions about time to current for our Green Card dynamic timeline predictions: the process of scheduling a Green Card interview cannot be initiated before the applicant’s date is ‘current’, so it is one of the key ‘anchor’ of the process.

Let’s note that before the pandemic, ‘time to current’ was definitely and decisively heading in the right direction:

The incredibly sad news here is that family Green Cards that were not issued over the last two years are gone forever. They are not coming back for family (they were transferred to ’employment’ based Green Cards). As a result, time to current will go up:

I am going through adjustment of status, what else applies to me?

Applicants going through Adjustment of Status are often allowed to use the ‘Filing Date’ of the Visa Bulletin to determine when they are allowed to file Form I-485. Here is the latest:

Filing Date
Movement
Status
Jan 8, 2015+5 weeks✔︎ Yes, the Filing Date can be used


Should you stay in F2B by ‘opting out’ of F1?

Some F2B applicants have the option to become F1 applicants when their sponsor naturalize. The great advantage of becoming F1 is that your Green Card application is no longer terminated if you get married (as an F1 you are switched to F3).

But if marriage is for reason or another not a concern as an F2B applicant, and your sponsor gets U.S. Citizenship, you have the option to ‘switch’ from F2B to F1, or they can ‘opt-out’ and stay F2B.

The following graph represents F1 minus F2B. If F1 minus F2B yields a positive number, then it means that the Final Action Date for F1 is ahead of the F2B one, and F1 has the advantage (and applicants should welcome the switch to F1).

If the number is negative, the opposite is true: F2B is ahead of F1, an a case can be made that ‘opting out’ of F2B and staying in F1 is the best course of action.

Question
Answer
Does F1 have an advantage over F2B?No
Should applicants 'opt-out' of F1?Yes
Where is F1 compared to F2B (in Months)?-9.8
Last update? May 2022

Switching to F1 used to be an obvious choice. For the last few years however, ‘opting-out’ and staying in F2B has been the way to go.

When will the Interview be scheduled?

The Green Card Interview can be scheduled when the applicant’s Priority Date is ‘current’ (when compared to Chart A of the Visa Bulletin, Final Action Dates for Family-Sponsored Preference Cases), and the applicant’s case has been declared ‘documentarily qualified’ (so-called ‘DQ’, also known as ‘complete’ and ‘interview-ready’), by the National Visa Center (NVC).

The problem is that the Covid-19 pandemic created at the NVC a backlog of Worldwide F2B cases that are ‘documentarily qualified’. So the question becomes, how quickly are the associated interviews scheduled?

In order to answer this question, Immigration Planner has carried out an in-depth analysis of U.S. Department of State data, building a database of all the Consular Green Cards issued since October 2018 at the ~150 U.S. Consulates and Embassies which issue family Green Cards outside the United States (the ‘raw’ data from the State Department can be found  here).

In the following, graph, the blue column indicates the number of F2B Green Cards issued per month at all the consulates, and the red line represents a 6-month average of these issuances (issuance can go up and down for a variety of reasons, so an average  gives a more accurate perspective of what is going on):

As we can see visually, F2B interviews and issuance of Green Cards has been picking up, but is still not where it was pre-pandemic. How far away are we? Well, we compared the average of the last 3 known months (the data is published by the U.S. Department with a ~30 to 60-day delay), with the average of the last full, pre-pandemic Fiscal Year (that would be fiscal year 2019, which was from October 2018 to September 2019):

You will also note that F2B is (along with F3) lagging behind other family preferences. That is because, beyond annual numerical limits, interviews are ‘prioritized’ by the U.S. State Department and F2B is clearly not a priority (compared for instance with F2A, spouses and young children of Green Card holders).


When will Immigration Planner update its predictions?

We expect to update our predictions the day after the next Visa Bulletin is released. Our best guess as to when we will update these predictions is as follows:

Jun 23, 2022


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