What is happening with F4-India?
The trajectory of F4-India over the last 2 years has been unique when compared to other ‘preference’ classification.
The first notable difference is with F4-All Countries. Back in October 2018, the U.S. State Department realized that the ‘response rate’ to the ‘Welcome Letters’ of the National Visa Center (NVC) to Worldwide F4 applicants was very low. This lead to a rapid advancement of the F4-All Countries, followed by a massive retrogression in February 2020.
But this did not happen to F4-India, probably because the applicants chargeable to India did in fact reply to the Welcome Letters sent to them.
The other notable difference, this time between F4-All Countries & F4-India and all the other family preferences (especially F1, F2B, and F3) is that the Final Action Date was not advanced at a rapid pace during the Covid-19 pandemic, when Interviews were simply not taking place.
In other words, although the advancement of F4-India has been disappointing, there has been no recent crazy move by the Visa Office that would make a retrogression highly likely in the future. To illustrate this let’s compare the advancement of the ‘Final Action Date’ of the Visa Bulletin from October 2020 to September 2021 ( in RED) with the average of the decade prior (2010 – 2019, in GREEN), and the 2000’s (2000 – 2009):
As you can see:
- Yes, the advancement of F4-India tends to diminish over time. The decade of the 2010s produced significantly less advancement than the decade of the 2000s. There is no doubt that the annual numerical limit is just too low to even just ‘absorb’ the number of new applicants;
- But the advancement of the last 2 years was even lower, which means that F4-India Visa Bulletin dates are probably closer to where they should be than other preferences.
How did the Final Action Date move in the past few months?
F4 - India
|Visa Bulletin Date:||Feb 2022|
|Final Action Date:||Sep 15, 2005|
F4-India has avoided the two massive issues that are going to plague other preferences for a while. First of all, it avoided the F4- All countries debacle where Final Action Dates were advanced too rapidly and led to a retrogression in February 2020, confusing and frustrating applicants. Secondly, the Visa Office did not advance the VB dates agressively during the Covid-19 pandemic when almost no interview could take place.
As a result, the present VB dates are probably fairly in line with the reality on the ground and, although we do not see any advancement during Fiscal Year 2022 (until September 2022), we anticipate a modest, but steady and healthy advancement after that. Improvements noted in terms of Consular Interviews will need however to be confirmed. Of present and immediate concern is the situation in Mumbai that does not seem to be improving, while New Delhi is doing ok (according to Immigration Planner's analysis of State Department data).
In any instance, because of the lost Green Cards of the last 2 years, we expect 'time-to-current' for recent or future applicant to go up and cross 18 years.
Sep 15, 2005
|Jan 2022||Sep 15, 2005||None|
|Dec 2021||Sep 15, 2005||None|
|Nov 2021||Sep 15, 2005||None|
|Oct 2021||Sep 15, 2005||None|
|Sep 2021||Sep 15, 2005||+2 weeks|
What does Immigration Planner predict?
The key of our short-term prediction is that there will be no ‘forward movement’ forF4 for 🇮🇳India until at least the summer of 2022, and most likely no movement until the end of fiscal year 2022 in September 2022. Beyond the detailed analysis that we shared, 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).
F4 🇮🇳India – 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 F4 for 🇮🇳India.
Brothers and sisters (siblings) of U.S. Citizens.
|Mar 2022||Sep 15, 2005|
|Apr 2022||Sep 15, 2005|
|May 2022||Sep 15, 2005|
|Jun 2022||Sep 15, 2005|
|Jul 2022||Sep 15, 2005|
|Aug 2022||Sep 15, 2005|
|Sep 2022||Sep 15, 2005|
|Oct 2022||Sep 22, 2005|
|Nov 2022||Oct 6, 2005|
|Dec 2022||Oct 13, 2005|
|Jan 2023||Oct 27, 2005|
|Feb 2023||Nov 3, 2005|
|Mar 2023||Nov 17, 2005|
|Apr 2023||Nov 24, 2005|
|May 2023||Dec 8, 2005|
|Jun 2023||Dec 15, 2005|
|Jul 2023||Dec 29, 2005|
|Aug 2023||Jan 5, 2006|
|Sep 2023||Jan 19, 2006|
|Oct 2023||Feb 12, 2006|
|Nov 2023||Mar 9, 2006|
|Dec 2023||Apr 3, 2006|
|Jan 2024||Apr 28, 2006|
|Feb 2024||May 22, 2006|
|Mar 2024||Jun 16, 2006|
|Apr 2024||Jul 11, 2006|
|May 2024||Aug 5, 2006|
|Jun 2024||Aug 30, 2006|
|Jul 2024||Sep 23, 2006|
|Aug 2024||Oct 18, 2006|
|Sep 2024||Nov 12, 2006|
|Oct 2024||Dec 7, 2006|
|Nov 2024||Jan 1, 2007|
|Dec 2024||Jan 25, 2007|
|Jan 2025||Feb 19, 2007|
|Feb 2025||Mar 16, 2007|
Don’t see your Priority Date? Want to know when your Interview will take place? Get more details with Immigration Planner.
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:
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:
|F4||Jan 1, 2006||None||Yes, the Filing Date can be used|
When will the Interview be scheduled?
The Green Card Interview can be scheduled when the applicant’s Priority Date is ‘current’ (when compared to the ‘Final Action Date’ of the Visa Bulletin), and the applicant’s case has been declared ‘complete’, or Documentarily Qualified’ (‘DQ’) by the National Visa Center (NVC).
The problem is that Covid-19 has created a backlog of cases waiting for an interview to be scheduled, and F4-Interview are not always close to pre-pandemic levels. Let’s take Mumbai as an example to start with the bad news:
So when we are comparing Interviews and Issuances of Green Cards in Mumbai now with ‘pre-pandemic’ (average number of Green Card issued during Fiscal Year 2019 (from Oct 2018 to Sep 2019), the last full Fiscal Year before the pandemic), we are at about 8% for F4 Green Cards. It is notable that other family preferences have been performing better, even in Mumbai. F4 applicants do not seem to be a priority there.
However, if you are looking at New Delhi, the situation is much better. In fact, it looks like we are back to pre-pandemic levels:
The reality of New Delhi has completely change in the last few months:
Stay informed and prepared. Are you waiting for you Interview letter? Should you have received it already? See your timeline and date predictions to ensure your process is mistake free and without delays.Start now
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:
Feb 23, 2022