Charlie Chats

Visa Bulletin movement is great, but USCIS processing speed is what matters.

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“Chats with Charlie” to discuss the June Visa Bulletin ended. Here is our statement.

We understand most of us are ‘disappointed’ that the Fairness Act did not become a law in Dec 2020. We will continue to fight to end discrimination. A golden opportunity presented itself to us, which does not require US Congress approval. If all the Spill Over numbers are used, a large portion of the ‘backlog’ will be wiped off. This will immensely compliment the Fairness Act and reduce the ammunition the opponents have.

Each allocated green card that is not used – expires on Sep 30, 2021. Hence, 260,000 allocation does not mean much unless USCIS has a plan to issue them.  Based on their ‘current procedures’ – USCIS ‘might be’ doing their best to maximize the usage. But we believe many improvements can be made to the process itself. Unless the ‘urgency’ is communicated to acting Director Tracy Renaud ( #Where is Tracy) & Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas – we will continue to be ignored.  

Visa Bulletin discussion for June 2021

Thank you for submitting Employment Based Questions below to Charlie. Here is the summary:

  • FY2022 EB allocation expected to be at least 290K
  • No. USCIS wont be able to process all FY2021 Allocations 262K EB due to Covid-19 restrictions.
  • All EB Final Action Dates is expected to reach Filing date by end of FY2021 in September (except for China EB5).
  • Expect EB3 India to move aggressively in July. It is expected to reach 2012 in near future, beyond that, we need to see based on demand.
  • Note: Aggressive means, EB2 India moved by 1 day or 1 week in the past w years – so compared to that 3 or 5 or 8 months movement is aggressive.
  • FY 2022 Dates also expected to move aggressively in first half. There may be slow down in second half, depending on number of applications received & USCIS processing speed.
  • No retrogress expected FY 20221 or FY 2022.
  • Ombudsman, State department, USCIS & other departments meet monthly & share detailed reports of the demand and various applications at various stages.
  • We do not discuss or publish mid year numbers. There will be significant amounts of unused numbers. We move Final Action Dates in a way to maximize Green card usage.
  • When is Immigrant Visa number allocated in current Fiscal Year: As far as State Department is concerned, it is in the order an applicant is reported to our office as ‘documentary qualified’ meaning submitted all documents (to the National Visa Center) required at the time of immigrant visa interview & Priority Date is within newly announced Final Action Date – numbers are immediately allocated for potential Final Action on their case. For example, once Medical is received after USCIS asks for it. Again, order of processing is based on how NVC reported to Visa Office.
  • Final Action Dates: We have monthly targets, we compare that to available numbers and the demand which could potentially utilize the available numbers.
  • We decide Filing Date & Final Action Date based on our estimates so that National Visa Center can contact applicants to prepare their documents. It gives us visibility into how to move Final Action Dates. We have no jurisdiction over how USCIS uses these dates – they use a formula to decide whether to use Filing Date or Final Action Date. Standard policy in recent years is to allow the “Filing Dates” published in October Bulletin to be allowed for Filing.
  • Yes, our work gets audited internally. We follow the law and that’s what drives Visa Bulletin. Fairly easy to do based on Guidelines that exist.
  • Let’s say FY2022 allocation is 290K. It is first divided into allocation for EB1, EB2, EB3, EB4 and EB5. Then the 7% per country cap is applied to each category. If numbers are not being used, then unused numbers are allocated to most backlogged applicant regardless of country.

Visa Bulletin discussion for May 2021

Visa Bulletin discussion for April 2021

Email questions to with “Chat with Charlie Question” in the subject line.

Questions will also be taken via the YouTube Live Chat and will be answered in real-time.

Ask these questions to Charlie NEXT TIME

Note: This section will be updated before July Visa Bulletin.

  • When EB AOS applicant is ‘current’, USCIS tends to process “Direct Greencard”, by skipping EAD and saves a minimum of 4 weeks. In the Oct 2020 bulletin, for EB3 INDIA, Filing Date movement added 48months worth of applicants in AOS Pipeline. But the Final Action Date movement made ONLY 3 months worth of Applicants eligible for Greencard. When USCIS first touches an application, they can process “Direct Greencard” for ONLY 6% of AOS Pipeline whereas 94% of touchpoints lead to postponing GC process & working on temporary EAD process, wasting resources. Why follow the traditional ‘monthly’ movement approach during this unexpected year where a lot of EB Greencards are available? Even considering per country cap, wouldn’t it make sense to move Final Action Date by 24 months in the OCT BULLETIN itself, instead of finally achieving it in JUN BULLETIN? This would ensure maximum applicants can be ‘document ready’ by Q4 where the country cap does not apply.
  • What data USCIS & other departments share with you at what frequency to help you decide on visa bulletin? USCIS completely runs off Applicants fees & data is not confidential anyway, so could you share with us with monthly Bulletin & increase transparency? We are also stakeholders yet always in the dark.
  • Has USCIS communicated with you of any steps they are taking to assure maximum Employment Green card usage, since they have an expiry date of Sep 30, 2021? If so, what are those?
  • What are other ways to communicate our suggestions to you – twitter, email?
  • How is your work audited for the way you move Visa Bulletin dates – if all the data is carefully hidden until a few months later? It took USCIS 113 days to publish Q1 results.
  • Since we the applicants have zero access to USCIS, could you please help pass on a message to acting Director Tracy Renaud, who is not even on twitter, to answer to the stakeholders about what actions are taken to maximize Employment Greencard usage? She should also do Youtube Live.
  • When do you get to know about the number of Employment Greencards processed? Would you say that the Visa Bulletin drives USCIS Green card issuance run rate or is it the other way around?
Discriminated Immigrants
Waiting for EB Green card