Immigration Law Blog

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

EB-1 Retrogresses Again in 2017 for Indians and Chinese

For the second year in a row, the priority date for EB-1 retrogressed for Indian and Chinese born foreign nationals. This visa category is reserved for the brilliant among us – aliens of extraordinary ability in science, business, and the arts; outstanding researchers; and executives and managers of multinational corporations. Last year this category retrogressed in July but returned in October 2016. This year it retrogressed in June 2017, and there is uncertainty on when it will return.

According to Charles (“Charlie”) Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, while speaking at a USCIS sponsored Employment Visa Engagement in San Jose, CA on July 19, 2017, we may see this category retrogress on an annual recurring basis, and that retrogression may happen earlier each year.

The EB-1 category for India and China was essentially getting a soft pass in the past since these countries benefitted from unused visa numbers by other countries. However, with an increase in demand in the EB-4 and EB-5 categories, pressure has been building on visa numbers across the board.

While the final action dates have retrogressed, the “Date for Filing” remains current.

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