F4-India: Visa Bulletin Predictions

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
Latest
Visa Bulletin Date:Jul 2022
Chargeability:India
Final Action Date:Sep 15, 2005
Movement:None
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 (slow improvements, but about 60% of the way back), but still no issuance in New Delhi (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.

Predictions for F4 All CountriesMexico and the Philippines.


F4
Last Six
Jul 2022
Sep 15, 2005
None
Jun 2022Sep 15, 2005None
May 2022Sep 15, 2005None
Apr 2022Sep 15, 2005None
Mar 2022Sep 15, 2005None
Feb 2022Sep 15, 2005None

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.

Visa Bulletin
Final Action
Jul 2022Sep 15, 2005
Aug 2022Sep 15, 2005
Sep 2022Sep 15, 2005
Oct 2022Sep 22, 2005
Nov 2022Oct 6, 2005
Dec 2022Oct 13, 2005
Jan 2023Oct 27, 2005
Feb 2023Nov 3, 2005
Mar 2023Nov 17, 2005
Apr 2023Nov 24, 2005
May 2023Dec 8, 2005
Jun 2023Dec 15, 2005
Jul 2023Dec 29, 2005
Aug 2023Jan 5, 2006
Sep 2023Jan 19, 2006
Oct 2023Feb 12, 2006
Nov 2023Mar 9, 2006
Dec 2023Apr 3, 2006
Jan 2024Apr 28, 2006
Feb 2024May 22, 2006
Mar 2024Jun 16, 2006
Apr 2024Jul 11, 2006
May 2024Aug 5, 2006
Jun 2024Aug 30, 2006
Jul 2024Sep 23, 2006
Aug 2024Oct 18, 2006
Sep 2024Nov 12, 2006
Oct 2024Dec 7, 2006
Nov 2024Jan 1, 2007
Dec 2024Jan 25, 2007
Jan 2025Feb 19, 2007
Feb 2025Mar 16, 2007
Mar 2025Apr 10, 2007
Apr 2025May 5, 2007
May 2025May 29, 2007
Jun 2025Jun 23, 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:

Preference
Filing Date
Movement
Status
F4Feb 22, 2006NoneYes, 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 start with an analysis of Mumbai, where the overall issuance is back to pre-pandemic levels:




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 can see that there has been a real 'catch-up' that happened for F4 (more than 60% of the way back).



The situation in New Delhi is more concerning and we are nowhere near pre-pandemic levels:

There is essentially no issuance of 'preference' Green Cards in New Delhi, so this goes beyond being an F4 problem:

It looks like only 'immediate relatives' Green Cards are being issued in New Delhi (they are at 90% of pre-pandemic levels):

For real time information about the consulates are doing in India, and discussions with fellow applicants waiting for their interview in India, please consider joining Immigration Planner 's Facebook group here

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.

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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:

Jun 23, 2022


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