The U.S. Department of State recently released its September 2015 Visa Bulletin, reflecting a significant retrogression for China and India in the employment-based Second Preference category (EB-2). The EB-2 category for mainland China and India retrogressed to January 1, 2006. This is a retrogression of over seven years for China (from December 15, 2013) and close to three years for India (from October 1, 2008). In contrast, employment-based Third Preference categories for China and India advanced over six months, from June 1, 2004 to December 22, 2004.

The Visa Bulletin announces the availability of immigrant visas each month. Only applicants with a priority date earlier than the cut-off date may be granted a visa. Retrogression occurs when more people apply for visas than were available for that month.

According to the U.S. Department of State’s Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division Charles Oppenheim, the retrogression “can primarily be attributed to skyrocketing demand” for visas in the EB-1 and EB-2 categories worldwide.

Note that a retrogression may be common toward the end of the government’s fiscal year, which ends on September 30. We hope to see the priority dates bounce back with some advancement during the early months of the new fiscal year.