Update Sep 09 - Visa Bulletin Commentary Added
Before we start with forecast commentary let us explain briefly what WhereismyGC is and how this site’s forecast and other services should be used.
WhereismyGC is a website founded by immigrants. Its purpose is to bring clarity to immigration process and make the immigration easier for backlogged candidates. We are not in the business of giving you false hope or painting the most optimistic picture for you. Our goal is to empower you with information so that you can make better decisions about your career and life. Our products and services are designed around this philosophy.
Today the site provides access to
1) Self-service Forecast Tool.
2) Standardized (fixed price) and good quality lawyer services.
How to use the forecast
We are the pioneers in forecasting using data and models. We imitate the visa allocation process as laid out by the immigration laws, and use algorithms and real forecasting models to give you a result.
The picture coming out of our algorithms may not be what you desire. But you should take it seriously because numbers do not lie. There is a fixed supply of immigration visas and the immigration laws do not help backlogged candidates because they discriminate based on the country of birth of candidates.
The site provides a dashboard with 3 scenarios (optimistic, likely, and pessimistic). Each scenario can be viewed in details that contain current and future backlog and expected backlog reduction as well as current year visa allocation.
To view the likely scenario in detail please use myForecast. The other two scenarios can only be viewed using iForecast. iForecast also allows you to adjust certain parameters and create your own forecast.
Immigration is like a balloon, you press it in one place and it pops out from other side.
Since 2007, there are multiple trends we are seeing that threaten backlogged candidates.
· There has been a trend in EB3 candidates porting to EB2. Since 2007, the rules of spillover were changed to horizontal spillover, EB2 stopped providing any spillover to EB3. Thus EB3 backlog became quite acute which prompted EB3 candidates to port to EB2.
B) EB2 vs EB3 Mix:
· In the old days EB2 to EB3 filing ratio was 1:2. Over time it has changed to 2:1 or worse. This particularly is bad for countries like India and China who traditionally have received large amount of spillover from EB2ROW. If ROW starts filing in EB2 then that doesn’t leave many visas for India and China.
C) Utilization of EB5/1
· Recently EB1 / 5 have been using nearly the entire allocation leaving little to none as all down/fall up visas to EB2. This hits hard for EB2 and EB3 categories.
Cumulative effective of these trends is that EB2 backlogged candidates virtually have been left with no room and are on way to be on par with their EB3 counterparts.
Latest Visa Bulletin
The Oct 2015 Visa Bulletin is not surprising. EB3ROW is practically current. And EB2 India is retrogressed as expected.
What is interesting is that this time around DoS has introduced a 2 tier system of dates. One set of dates applies to country categories from visa availability stand point. And the other date applies from the stand point of ability to file 485.
It is good to see EB2I applicants with dates upto 1 Jul 2011 can file 485. That's approx 14 months improvement over last max date reached for EB2I which was May 2010 a couple of years back.
However this 2 tier system begs a few questions:
1) Why didn't DoS implement it before? It seems that restrictions on ability to file 485 is an administrative discretion rather than a legal impendiment.
2) What makes DoS choose Jul 2011 for EB2I? What is so magical about it.
Our initial assessment is that this is not a nice move on part of DoS as it seems to be. It is another way to build just enough inventory for EB2I without yielding any extra visas to EB2I.
So what constitutes "just enough"? A top of the head (to be updated) number would be somewhere between 30-40K for EB2I.
So why would 30-40K be just enough? We really don't have an answer to that however it is possible that looking at the time horizon those people are at the risk of abandoning their GC. So DoS may have been pressurized to let those people file 485.
Whatever the real reason may be - we can confidently say that while this may seem reprieve; it also raises more questions than answers.
Meanwhile congratulations to those with the newfound ability to file 485. Life is certainly much better for you.