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Update from Charlie Oppenheim

In his monthly report on the current trends and future projections of the visa bulletin, Charles ("Charlie") Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, to provide additional insight going forward.

Family Based Projections:

In July, the final action date of FB-4 Worldwide will be May 8, 2004. Oppenheim is hoping to advance the category later on, but it is too close to call at the moment to make a definitive prediction. Oppenheim attributes this to the lack of a response to the NVC’s “Agent of Choice” letters. Most family-based categories see a response rate of less than 50%, with less than 35% of said respondents providing all of the necessary information.

Employment Based Projections:

EB-1 China and India have kept their final action date of January 1, 2012 and it is expected to hold throughout the fiscal year.

EB-2 Worldwide saw a slight uptick in demand at the start of June and Oppenheim expects a final action date to be imposed next month. However, Oppenheim also anticipates the category to be current again in October. EB-2 India will advance by three weeks in July and Charlie believes there will be more advancement throughout the fiscal year, although by smaller increments. Charlie also noted that approximately 40 percent of the available EB-2 India numbers are being used by beneficiaries who have upgraded from EB-3 India.

Arguably the greatest change in the July visa bulletin is the change in EB-2 and EB-3 China. For the first time all year, EB-2 China is later than EB-3 China. EB-2 China will advance by three weeks and Charlie expects the progress to continue. EB-3 China will retrogress by over three years as a result of a large amount of EB-3 downgrades. The final action date of EB-3 China Other Workers will hold, but this date could retrogress in August.

July’s final action date for EB-3 China should hold through the end of the fiscal year and will advance again in October. Meanwhile, EB-3 Worldwide will remain relatively current following an advancement of 7 weeks to June 8, 2017.

In July, EB-3 India will advance by five months to October 15, 2005 and should continue to advance going forward. The otherwise unused numbers for EB-3 Worldwide are required to be allocated in order of priority date, meaning that these numbers will fall to EB-3 India, which allows India to have the earliest final action date in the EB-3 category.

The final action date for EB-5 China will stay at June 8, 2014 and Oppenheim expects this category to advance by one week for August. Some forward movement in this category could be possible for September provided that demand decreases.

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