On Nov. 7, 2014, the November 2014 Visa Bulletin was released. Shortly thereafter, on Nov. 13, 2014, AILA “checked in” with Charles (“Charlie”) Oppenheim, chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, to obtain his analysis of current trends and future projections for the various immigrant preference categories. The checkup is part of an AILA monthly series designed to keep members informed of Visa Bulletin progress and projections. Below are highlights of Charlie’s predictions based on the November 2014 Visa Bulletin:
No Significant New Projections from Charlie
There are no new predictions in this month’s “Check-In” as the December Visa Bulletin is consistent with the predictions Charlie made in October and November. We previously covered Charlie’s predictions here. Unless there is an unexpected surge in demand, Charlie expects that his current predictions will hold up until the release of the February or March Visa Bulletins.
Potential EB-5 China Movements
Charlie hopes that sufficient demand data will be available in January which will help in predicting future movement in this category. As expected, the November 2014 Visa Bulletin reflects the EB-5 visa is now current for mainland-born Chinese EB-5 investors. However, Charlie continues to predict that a cut-off date may be imposed at some point during the second half of the fiscal year, possibly as early as May.
Charlie expects to see continuing advancement of the priority date, but at a slower pace than in early 2014. Charlie predicts that the slower advancement will happen in order to counteract the dramatic retrogression that occurred in June as a result in the spike in demand caused by EB-3 “downgrades.” If an increase in demand for EB-3 China does not materialize by early December 2014 or January 2015, Charlie expects that this category will advance more quickly starting in February.