What is happening with F3-All Countries?
In order to understand what is happening, we first need to realize how rapid the advancement of the Final Action Date of F3-All Countries has been since October 2017. First let’s compare the last two fiscal years (2021 in red, and 2020 in black) with the average of the last decade (2010 to 2019, in green) and the decade before that (2000 to 2009, in blue):
This compares Fiscal Years (which start in October and end the following September.
- The first thing you will notice is that the last decade (2010 – 2019) had more advancement than the decade prior (2000 – 2009), which is unusual for family preferences (it is usually the opposite with advancement slowing down;
- The second thing is that fiscal year 2020 (in black) was really incredible (it was actually the best of the last 20 years);
- The third thing is that fiscal year 2021 was still solid, although slower
So now, let’s take a look at the last two years (here is red), and compare this one more time to the averages of 2010 – 2019 and 2000 – 2009:
Essentially, since October 2019 the dates for F3 Worldwide advanced as fast as they did on average during the faster 2010 – 2019 decade.
But the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, and we are not out of it. In other words, the Visa Office of the U.S. State Department built a backlog of ‘interview-ready’ applications and we are going to have to go through that backlog first before F3-All Countries date can start advancing again.
How did F3-All Countries Final Action Date move in the past few months?
|Visa Bulletin Date:||May 2022|
|Final Action Date:||Nov 22, 2008|
May 2022 did not yield any advancement for F3-All Countries, as expected. As with most 'preference' categories, we are not expecting any forward movement for F3 until at least the end of the current Fiscal Year in September 2022. This is because the Final Action Date for F3 has moved forward at an incredible pace since October 2017. Fiscal Year 2020 (from October 2019 to September 2020) was even the best of the last 20 years, and half of that year was during pandemic yeasr when when almost no F3 interviews were taking place.
We are expecting 'time to current' to increase, because of the 'lost' Green Cards of the last 2 years.
Of important and immediate concerns is whether all the F3 Green Cards are going to be issued this current fiscal year (from October 2021 to September 2022). We are doing better in terms of Consular Interviews taking place and F3 Green Cards being issued, but we are only 70% of the way back, and F3 seems to be lagging other preferences (see our full analysis for details).
|May 2022||Nov 22, 2008||None|
|Apr 2022||Nov 22, 2008||None|
|Mar 2022||Nov 22, 2008||None|
|Feb 2022||Nov 22, 2008||None|
|Jan 2022||Nov 22, 2008||None|
|Dec 2021||Nov 22, 2008||None|
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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 not heading in the right direction. Applicants with a Priority Date in 2008 waited more than 6 years longer to become current than their predecessors who started the process in 1998:
But the reality of the pandemic, and the associated suspension of Green Card interviews, is that the F3 Worldwide Green Cards that were not issued between March 2020 and September 2021 are gone, and they are not coming back (they were turned into employment Green Cards). As a result, time to current will mechanically go up, and you will find below what our predictions are:
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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