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 28, 2015

Visa Bulletin Predictions by Charles Oppenheim

On May 14, 2015, Charles Oppenheim of the State Department's Visa Control and Reporting Division provided the following guidance and projections about the future movement of the Visa Bulletin through AILA DOS Liaison Committee: 

1) Worldwide EB-2:  The State Department was surprised by the explosive visa demands in Worldwide (Other Countries) EB-2 - 80% increase from February to March, and 100% increase from February to April. Charlie is not sure if this trend will continue, but expects this category to remain current.

2) EB-2 India:  Although EB-2 Other Countries will remain current, EB-2 India will likely suffer because there will be less spill-over visa numbers from the former.  In fact, the expected advancement of EB-2 India to July or August 2009 by the end of the fiscal year may not materialize as a result of this unexpected visa demand in Worldwide EB-2.

Charlie also explained, in response to an AILA member's question, that the need for new medical exam reports caused delay in processing adjustment applications last year.  As a result, Charlie released visa numbers earlier in FY2015 by advancing the cut-off date more rapidly in an attempt to facilitate USCIS processing of the pending I-485 applications before the expiration of the medical exam reports. However, such an action also prompted a large number of upgrades from EB-3 India this year.  If this increase is only something temporary, EB-2 India may see better cut-off dates towards the end of the year.  

3) EB-2 and EB-3 China:  For the past few months, the State Department has advanced China EB-2's cut-off date by almost three years to spur visa demand.  Charlie, however, is concerned about whether the current cases can be processed by the end of the fiscal year. One of the reasons for the EB-2 advancement is due to the "downgrades" from EB-2 to EB-3 last year.   Since Charlie has no information on the number of upgrades or downgrades, he will continue to monitor these two categories closely.

4) EB-5 China:  The cut-off date remains unchanged at May 1, 2013 for June. Charlie has no additional predictions for EB-5 China at this time.

5) Philippines EB-3 and "Other Worker" Categories:  According to Charlie, heavy demand in these categories continues and further retrogression may be necessary before the end of the fiscal year.

6) Mexico FB-4:  Charlie retrogressed this category to March 1, 1997 due to the existence of a large number of applicants with current priority dates who were "documentarily qualified" for immigration.

7) Worldwide FB-2A: Charlie expects movement in this category will slow down during the final quarter of the fiscal year. 

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