DOS's Charlie Oppenheim Weighs in on May Visa Bulletin

Every month, the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division of the Department of State, Charlie Oppenheim, talks with the American Immigration Lawyer's Association about the visa bulletin. AILA publishes the interview monthly (AILA Doc. No. 14071401). This month's interview was conducted on April 16, 2017, after the release of the May 2017 Visa Bulletin. Oppenheim discusses the bulletin by category.

FB-4 Worldwide:

This category's final action date saw aggressive movement in April, but is not expected to advance in May. The April movement motivated applicants to apply, but the increase in demand may cause a delay in this category later in the year. However, should a delay occur, the category should recover completely by October, with the start of the new fiscal year.

EB-1 and EB-2 Worldwide:

Demand has increased dramatically recently for these categories. This could signal the possibility of a correction to the final action date in the near future. Therefore, Charlie expects number usage for these categories to continue increasing.

EB-1 India and China:

For the past few months Charlie has predicted the imposition of a final action cut-off date for these categories. He says that the only reason it has not yet been imposed is that India and China have been able to benefit from "otherwise unused numbers" not currently required for other countries. Oppenheim predicts that the final action cut-off date will be imposed no later than July. This will essentially shut off the use of additional numbers.

EB-2 India:

March demand for this category doubled from February. Oppenheim believes that at the most, the final action date for this category may reach December 2008.

EB-4 Religious Workers and EB-5 Investors:

Finally, both of these categories will sunset on April 28, 2017, unless they are reauthorized by Congress. Therefore, the May visa bulletin indicates that these categories are unavailable. If reauthorized, EB-4 will return to current with the exceptions of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, which will have a July 15, 2015 final action date. Lastly, if the investor program is reauthorized, all countries except China would become current. China would have a final action date of June 1, 2014.

Categories: Immigration News