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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 became May 8, 2004. That date will hold in August. The lack of movement has to do with the large increase in demand for the category. If demand continues to be high, we may see a temporary retrogression in FB-4 Worldwide and FB-4 China.

We should not expect much progress for the FB-2A final action date for September, but it will pick back up in October with the infusion of new fiscal year numbers. Slow movement is attributable to the fact that the annual visa limit is being approached.

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.

As expected, a final action date of April 1, 2015 will be imposed for EB-2 worldwide next month. This date is likely to remain the same for September, however there is a possibility that it may retrogress further. However, Charlie is confident that this category will become current again at the start of the new fiscal year (in October). Despite what Oppenheim expected to be advancement for EB-2 India, their final action date will remain the same in August due to heavy demand for EB-3 upgrades. If demand continues at this rate, there will be no forward movement until the start of the new fiscal year.

In the 2018 fiscal year, movement in EB-2 India and other employment-based categories is expected to be similar to movement this fiscal year, including more conservative advancement during the first quarter. This will allow Oppenheim to better gauge demand in various categories and hopefully avoid dramatic retrogressions later in the fiscal year.

EB-2 China’s final action date will advance by one month and Oppenheim expects it to advance again in September, but it will depend on the demand in the coming weeks. If this category does not advance next month, however, it will advance at the start of the new fiscal year. EB-3 China, which retrogressed by three years last month, saw its final action date remain. However, Oppenheim expects the final action date for EB-2 China to be earlier than EB-2 China in October, resuming the prior dynamic that resulted in many EB-3 downgrades.

Oppenheim believes that EB-3 Worldwide demand will increase in the next fiscal year, as the "otherwise unused numbers" that were available this fiscal year may not be as plentiful next year. Attorneys are encouraged to respond immediately to any USCIS RFEs in an effort to complete adjudication and obtain an immigrant visa number during the current fiscal year. This would enable EB-3 India to leverage the otherwise unused numbers and slowly chip away at the backlog in this category.

The final action date for EB-3 Philippines will advance to June 1, 2015 in August. As with EB-3 India, attorneys are encouraged again to respond quickly to RFEs to provide a better chance of I-485 adjudication before the end of fiscal year.

The final action date for EB-5 China will advance one week to June 15, 2014 and Oppenheim expects this category to advance by one week for September. Some forward movement in this category could be possible for September provided that demand decreases.

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