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.)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Visa Bulletin Predictions by DOS’s Charlie Oppenheim - July 2016 and Onward

Following the publication of the July 2016 Visa Bulletin, as usual, Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, met with AILA to provide his insights, analyses and predictions regarding the future movement of the various immigrant preference categories. The following are the highlights of the discussions:

Family-Based Categories:   Charlie mentioned last month the possibility of FB-4 China advancing this fiscal year before October. Such advancement would only happen if there is a decrease in demand in the FB-1, FB-2, and FB-3 preference categories. Charlie expects that this category will recover to the prior cut-off date of July 2003 by November as a result of the availability of the new fiscal year's visa numbers.

"Similar to FB-4 China, FB-4 India recently tracked the FB-4 Worldwide final action date until it retrogressed in June. However, unlike FB-4 China, the final action date for FB-4 India will definitely remain at January 1, 2001, through September. Charlie predicts that FB-4 India will advance to the former July 2003 cutoff date early in the next fiscal year, but expects that recovery to happen more slowly than for FB-4 China. Charlie anticipates that the FB-4 India date will reach late 2002 for October, and may fully recover to July 2003 by the end of the calendar year."

EB-1 China and India:  Charlie expects a cutoff date for China and India EB-1 in either August or September.  However, they are expected to become current again in October. A cut-off date will not be imposed for EB-1 for other countries this fiscal year.

China EB-2 and EB-3:  Charlie does not expect any forward movement in either of these categories this fiscal year.

EB-2 Worldwide:  It is likely that a cut-off date will be imposed for EB-2 Worldwide by September. Demand continues to be high for this category.  According to Charlie, just in May alone, 4,300 EB-2 numbers were used worldwide (including PRC and EB-2 India demand). 

EB-2 India:  "Charlie anticipates EB-2 India’s final action date will be one week beyond EB-3 India through the rest of the fiscal year. Based on current usage, there should be sufficient available unused EB-3 numbers worldwide to enable moderate forward movement in India EB-3 in the month of September."

"EB-4 and Certain Religious Workers (SR) Preference Categories. As previously predicted, and noted in the July Visa Bulletin, a cut-off date of January 1, 2010 will be imposed in July for EB-4 Mexico. This is the same cut-off date imposed earlier this fiscal year for EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. There will be no forward movement in these categories prior to the end of the fiscal year."

"Despite the cut-off date in these categories, it is expected that EB-4 Mexico will become current in October and EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras should advance to a 2015 cutoff date. A more precise prediction of the cut-off cannot be made until pending demand in September is reviewed."

EB-4 India Cut-Off:  A cutoff date for EB-4 India will be imposed for August, according to Charlie.

(AILA Doc. No. 14071401)

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