Department of State March Visa Demand Predictions
February 25th, 2017
The Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division of the U.S. Department of State (DOS), Charles ("Charlie") Oppenheim gives monthly predictions of visa availability and demand following the publishing of each month's visa bulletin. He makes predictions and describes current trends of different visa categories.
First, for the EB-1 category, Oppenheim expects that EB-1 Worldwide will remain current throughout the entire fiscal year. He highlighted that the March visa bulletin predicted that a final action date would likely be imposed by August for EB-1 India and China. Demand for these categories has actually declined, relative to their demand late in 2016. If demand picks up, however, the final action date could be imposed sooner than August.
Oppenheim predicts that EB-2 India will advance to June 1, 2008, instead of remaining at April 15, 2008. This prediction is based on a lower demand for EB-3 upgrades. He also believes that knowledge of expiring medical exams may have contributed to advancing the date. If upgrades to EB-3 increase, however, advancement in the category will slow down or stop in the near future. There is expected to be very limited advancement in the EB-3 India category for the time being.
EB-2 China will advance in March from November 15, 2012 to December 15, 2012. EB-3 China will actually advance five months, from October 1, 2013 to March 15, 2014. Oppenheim believes the current demand is not enough to advance EB-2 China further at this time. The gaps between the categories will likely persist until EB-3 demand increases significantly.
EB-3 Worldwide has continued to advance due to relatively low demand, and has moved forward two months.
EB-5 China will advance 15 days, per the March visa bulletin, and Oppenheim foresees that the category will continue to advance at a consistent rate.
Oppenheim points out that numbers in the EB-4 categories for Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico are quickly approaching the annual limits for each country.
What is "demand" in this context?
Oppenheim refers to "demand" as activity by individuals seeking visas which could require use of a number. USCIS makes decisions on cases based on the current demand for those categories.
Receipts sent by USCIS are an unreliable measure, because they can be inconsistent. Visa availability, and the predictions of Mr. Oppenheim, are based on the information available at the time each month's visa bulletin is published.