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.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Visa Bulletin Predictions by Mr. Charlie Oppenheim

Mr. Charlie Oppenheim of the U.S. State Department is a household name among intending immigrants.  His Visa Control and Reporting Division manages the use of immigrant visa quota, which has a direct impact on how fast visa applicants may obtain their U.S. permanent residence status.  Mr. Oppenheim frequently provides his predictions and projections on various visa categories in the Visa Bulletin through AILA's DOS Liaison Committee.  Below is his most recent predictions from April 16, 2015.

EB-2 India:  This visa category has advanced significantly in March (16 months), April (8 months), and May (7+ months). Charlie cautioned, however, that this trend of forward movement will not likely to continue beyond July.  In fact, advancement will likely slow down or even stop in August and/or September.

EB-5 China:  The establishment of a cut-off date for EB-5 China in May's Visa Bulletin had also been previously predicted by Charlie due to heavy demand from Chinese investors. Charlie set the cut-off date (May 1, 2013) based on projections of supply and demand of visa numbers. However, should actual demand be different, the cut-off date could change accordingly. 

EB-3 Philippines Retrogression: In May's Visa Bulletin, EB-3 Philippines retrogresses to July 1, 2007. Although this change had already been predicted by Charlie previously, he actually was expecting a gradual increase in visa demand rather than a sudden major retrogression.  However, during the past six weeks, visa use by USCIS sky-rocketed to more than 2,000 suddenly (compared to 3,275 visa numbers used during the previous fiscal year).  Increased visa demand in the EB-1/EB-2 categories also further aggravated the situation. Going forward, Charlie hopes to advance the cut-off date throughout the summer, but is not certain about the extent of movement.

FB-1 Philippines: Demand for visa numbers in this category has increased. If this trend does not change,  Charlie predicts that retrogression is possible in June or July.

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