A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration attorney and counsel. Contact Info: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/ (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Visa Bulletin Predictions by State Department's Charlie Oppenheim

On Monday April 21, 2014 Mr. Charlie Oppenheim of the Department of State's Visa Office (VO) spoke to AILA members about his impressions as to the future movements of the immigrant visa bulletin.  The State Department controls visa number allocations and Mr. Oppenheim's office is responsible for the publication of the monthly Visa Bulletin.

According to Mr. Oppenheim:

  • Employment Based 2nd Preference India (EB-2) will likely advance to 2008 in August or September as a measure to use up all remaining EB-2 visa numbers for the fiscal year.  The "spill-over" from EB-1 and unused EB-2 Worldwide numbers could amount to about 5,000 additional visa numbers.  This is good news for Indian nationals who are applying for U.S. green cards.
  • Employment Based 3rd Preference Worldwide (EB-3)'s forward movement will likely stop, and may even retrogress in May to control demand.
  • Employment Based 3rd Preference China (EB-3) may retrogress in May due to high demand from applicants "downgrading" from EB-2 to EB-3.  Therefore, eligible applicants should file their I-485 applications as soon as possible. 
  • Employment Based 5th Preference ("Investment Visa") China (EB-5) could retrogress in August or September.  Currently over 7,000 I-526 applications are pending and 80% of them are from China.
  • Family Based Second Preference 2A Worldwide (FB-2A) will retrogress back to 2012 in the June or July Visa Bulletin. FB-2A for Mexico will also retrogress. 

  • Family Based Second Preference 2B Worldwide (FB-2B) will likely advance due to lower demand. 

Other notes:  The National Visa Center (NVC) is sending out invoices for visa payments 8 to 12 months in advance the of the priority date becoming current.  Applicants are encouraged to pay the fees earlier so that the Visa Office may confirm overseas demand for immigrant visas.  Early payment and processing of visa documents will also speed up the immigration process.

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