DOS's Charlie Oppenheim Weighs in on October 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 September 15, 2017, after the release of the October 2017 Visa Bulletin. Below, Oppenheim discusses the bulletin by category.

Oppenheim's Take on Employment-Based Categories

EB-1 China and India. These categories will become current in October. According to USCIS, there has been a large demand for these categories, which will be eligible for final processing in October. Additionally, these categories will remain current for the foreseeable future.

EB-2 Worldwide. This category becomes current again on October 1st, and will remain that way for the foreseeable future.

EB-2 India. The final action date for this category is September 15, 2008. Oppenheim predicts that the category will advance at a pace of up to one month at a time. The final action date will hopefully reach 2009 at some point in 2018.

EB-3 India. The final action date for this category remains at October 15, 2006, and is also likely to hold steady in November, with possible movement in December.

EB-2 and EB-3 China. EB-3 China will start the fiscal year with a final action date of January 1, 2014, while EB-2 will have a final action date of May 22, 2013. The advancement of EB-2 China can be attributed to high demand and a desire to maintain steady and limited progress.

EB-3 Worldwide. The final action date for this category became current in August, remains current in October, and is also expected to stay current for the foreseeable future.

EB-3 Philippines. The final action date for EB-3 Philippines will advance one month to December 15, 2015, in October. However, this category may begin to advance up to two months at a time as we get into the new fiscal year.

EB-5 China. The final action date for EB-5 China will advance one week to June 22, 2014, in October. Further, this pace will likely continue.

Oppenheim's Take on Family-Based Categories

EB-4 Mexico. Due to lower demand, this category now has its own final action date of March 1, 2016. This category will have limited advancement until demand increases. The final action date for EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras will be November 1, 2015. Finally, EB-4 India will become current in October, and will likely remain current until next spring or summer.

Some individuals have expressed concern that the new interview requirement will result in fewer employment-based green cards being approved each year, and that this decline may impact final action dates for India and China. In his interview, Oppenheim responded to this concern by saying that 85% of the numbers used in employment-based categories are for adjustment of status cases being processed by USCIS. Level of demand is always compared with the numbers still available. Therefore, this comparison determines the advancement of final action dates throughout the fiscal year.

Finally, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Categories: Immigration News