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, May 29, 2017

Visa Bulletin Predictions: June 2017 and Onward

Every month after the release of the monthly visa bulletin, DOS Visa Office Chief Mr. Charlie Oppenheim would provide his insights on the trends, movements, predictions, etc., regarding the usage of immigrant visa numbers.  The following are the highlights of his insights following the publication of the June 2017 Visa Bulletin:  

Increased Demand for Employment Based Visas Resulted in Tight EB-1 and EB-2 Numbers: Readers should notice that for the first time in many years, there is a cutoff date for EB-1 India and China of 01/01/2012.  Charlie explained that this is the result of the increased demand for employment-based preference categories in all categories.  Increased demand for EB-4 and EB-5 visas, for example, has significantly decreased any "leftover" visa numbers for EB-1 and EB-2 categories.  A high demand for EB-1 Worldwide visa numbers also contributed to the establishment of cutoff dates for EB-1 India and China in June.  Unfortunately, Charlie predicted that this trend will likely to stay for the remainder of the fiscal year.  

EB-2 India Subject to Per-Country Limit: In FY 2017 EB-2 India will be subject to the 7% per-country limit, according to Charlie.  It means that EB-2 India has only 2,803 visa numbers to use for this fiscal year.  In contrast, in 2014, EB-2 India used approximately 23,500 numbers after taking into account the unused visa numbers from other categories.  This, again, is the result of the increased general demand for employment based visas.  Upgrades from EB-3 India also contributed to the situation. Charlie expects to hold the current final action cutoff date until October, while keeping a close eye at this category.

EB-1 Worldwide will remain current:  This category is expected to remain current throughout FY 2017. 

EB-2 Worldwide retrogression coming:  Charlie expects that a final action cut-off date will be "imposed for EB-2 Worldwide by August, and possibly in July."  However, the period of retrogression is expected to be short and it will become current again in October.

EB-2 China and EB-3 China:  EB-2 China will continue to advance slowly and it will likely hit the per country limit.  The number of EB-3 downgrades is increasing. Charlie hopes to hold the EB-3 China final action date for now but does not rule out retrogression of the cutoff date.

EB-3 India will advance to October 15, 2005:  Charlie predicted that EB-3 India will likely advance to 10/15/2005 in the near future. In June, as a result of low demand from EB-3 Worldwide and Mexico.  

EB-5 China:   Charlie expects slow forward movement in this category.

FB-4. Charlie hopes to advance these slow-moving categories this fiscal year.

FB-4 Worldwide advances: Due to a low response rate to the  NVC "Agent of Choice" letters, Charlie expects this category to advance.   

(Source: AILA Doc. No. 14071401)

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