DOS's Charlie Oppenheim Weighs in on June Visa Bulletin
May 29th, 2017
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 May 22, 2017, after the release of the June 2017 Visa Bulletin. Oppenheim discusses the bulletin by category.
Oppenheim's Take on Employment-Based Categories
Increased demand across employment based preferences has decreased the "otherwise unused numbers." These usually trickle up to EB-1 and down to EB-2. Combined with high demand for EB-1 Worldwide, EB-1 India and EB-1 China now have a final action cut-off date. Now, EB-2 China and EB-2 India number usage is restricted to annual limits. There will likely be continued pressure on China and India in the EB-1 and EB-2 categories. EB-1 China and EB-1 India now have a final action date of January 1, 2012, which is expected to hold through the remainder of the fiscal year. EB-1 Worldwide is expected to remain current through this fiscal year.
Charlie observed high EB-2 usage for several months and expects that a final action cut-off date will be imposed for the category by August, or possibly in July. He is confident that the category will be current again on October 1.
Demand for this category remains strong, mostly due to EB-3 upgrades. Although the category will advance slightly in June, Charlie does not believe it will recover to last year's final action date.
EB-2 China and EB-3 China
The category EB-2 China will advance less than one month and EB-3 China's final action date will hold steady. EB-2 China will continue to advance slowly, and is on track to hit the per country limit.
This category will lead forward in June. Low demand in other EB-3 categories will continue to advance the final action date for EB-3 India.
FB-4 Worldwide should be watched closely. Charlie hopes this category will advance during this fiscal year. Only 40% of FB-4 Worldwide beneficiaries who were sent "Agent of Choice" letters before April 2016 have responded to those letters. Additionally, of those, only 15% provided enough information to schedule an interview.
EB-4 India will be subject to a final action date in July.
The SQ category for certain Afghanis will remain current, with the approval of an additional 2,500 visas. SQ for Iraqis remains current. Finally, the SI category is unavailable.
Categories: Immigration News