Charlie Oppenheim's Predictions for Forward Movement in February 2019

Charlie Oppenheim's Predi…

Each month, the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division of the Department of State, Charlie Oppenheim, discusses the next month's visa bulletin with the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He analyzes current trends in order to make predictions about the movement of the various immigrant preference categories. In this particular 'check-in' with Oppenheim, potential monthly movement through May 2019 is predicted for family based preference categories FB-1, FB-2A, FB-2B, FB-3, and FB-4 and employment based preference categories EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4, and EB-5.

Oppenheim points out some particularly noteworthy movement in both family and employment based preference categories. The family-based categories continue to have slow yet consistent movement of up to one and a half months, excluding FB-1 Mexico, FB-3 Mexico, and FB-4 Mexico which have Final Action Dates for February. It also must be noted that Oppenheim recommends that FB-4 Philippines applicants file as soon as possible. This is due to the potential significant demand following an effort to increase demand for these cases and to encourage applicants to take action.

In the employment-based preference categories, there are several important things to consider. Firstly, Oppenheim predicts that EB-3 India might surpass EB-2 India. EB-3 India will have a Final Action Date ahead of EB-2 India because of the low EB-3 Worldwide demand. Secondly, the Final Action Date for EB-2 China remains ahead of EB-3 China and Oppenheim predicts that there will be no flip for the foreseeable future. Demand for these categories is increasing again after a decline in December 2018. Lastly, the Final Action Dates for EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico have moved ahead.

As noted in the February 2019 Visa Bulletin, I5 and R5 visas are not being issued at this time due to the scheduled expiration of these categories. EB-4 SR (Religious Workers) are also not being authorized. They are currently unavailable and because of the current government shutdown, they will remain unavailable until Congress reauthorizes them. If these categories are reauthorized, EB-4 SR will become 'current' for most countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. I5 and R5 will become 'current' for most countries except China and Vietnam. Oppenheim advises applicants for the EB-4 SR, I5, and R5 categories to still plan to attend their interviews.

For More Information:

Read our post about the February 2019 Visa Bulletin here.

This blog post does not serve as legal advice and does not establish any client-attorney privilege. Do not take any action based on the information contained in this post without consulting a qualified immigration attorney. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team directly.

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This information comes from a news release from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA Doc. No. 14071401).