A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration lawyer. We serve clients in all U.S. states and overseas countries. (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Visa Bulletin Predictions July 2019 and beyond

Every month after the release of the monthly visa bulletin, DOS Visa Office Chief Mr. Charlie Oppenheim provides his insights on the trends, movements, predictions, etc., regarding the usage of immigrant visa numbers.  The following are his most important insights following the publication of the August 2019 visa bulletin.

EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, and EB-3 Other Workers categories have had unpredictable and high demand since late May. Charlie has confirmed that August 2019 final action dates will be imposed on EB-3 categories for part of July. This is to ensure that visa numbers do not go over annual limits for certain countries due to the significant increase in demand. Charlie also warns applicants that similar actions could be taken to control EB-1 and EB-2 categories if demand in these categories continue to rise. It is not likely that Final Action Dates will return to what they were in July for the start of the new fiscal year.  

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The final action date for EB-1 worldwide (China included) will retrogress to July 1, 2016 for August 2019. EB-1 India remains at January 1, 2015.

Overall, employment-based categories have had soaring demand for visas. 1,800 numbers were used in the EB-2 category through May 21, 2019. Another 1,300 was used in the short period between May 22nd and May 31st. Projected demand also appears high. Final action dates for August have been confirmed for all countries under EB-2. India's will be May 2, 2009. The rest of the world will have January 1, 2017 as a EB-2 final action date in August.

EB-3 demand has skyrocketed since April. After the first week of July, EB-3 already used the equivalent of 36% of the numbers used for the whole month of June. Numbers are approaching the worldwide annual limit, with many countries close to or hitting their annual limit. Future number use has been limited because of this. Those seeking to file their I-485 to legally remain in the U.S. could be affected by limitation of future numbers. 

The Final Action Date for EB-3 Other Workers for China remains November 22, 2007. It is unclear whether EB-3 Vietnam and EB-3 Philippines will become current in October 2019. EB-3 worldwide has a final action date of July 1, 2016 for August 2019. EB-3 India's final action date will further regress to January 1, 2006.

EB-4 India is expected to remain current through the rest of the fiscal year. All other countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and Mexico remain current.

Charlie states that EB-5 India and Vietnam will not become current in October. Both countries retrogressed to October 15, 2014, according to the August visa bulletin. They will not be current in October and are expected to have Final Action Dates throughout the near future.

F-2A action dates will remain current for all countries, likely through September, provided there is no sudden spike in demand. When demand eventually catches up, however, the final action date is predicted to be in 2017 or 2018.

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