The July 2015 Visa Bulletin has been released and, as always, shortly after its release, on June 12, 2015, 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 July 2015 Visa Bulletin:

Employment Based:

  • EB-1 & EB-2:
    • Charlie anticipates the worldwide sub-category to remain current for the near future. There was some movement in the EB-2 category for China, which advanced four months. Charlie anticipates continuing forward movement for EB-2 China; however, he believes the pace will decrease through the fiscal year. Due to forward movement in EB-2 India earlier this year, Charlie does not anticipate much forward movement throughout the fiscal year. Specifically, he states unless there is a significant decline in EB-2 worldwide demand, we should not anticipate any forward movement in EB-2 India for the rest of this fiscal year.
  • EB-3:
    • The EB-3 category for India advanced by a few days; and the EB-3 category for “All Other Countries” advanced a month and a half. Charlie anticipates EB-3 worldwide “to reach the summer of 2015 by the end of this fiscal year and expects that the cut-off date will hold steady for some time.” Charlie expects the EB-3 China cut-off date, April 1, 2015, to remain stable through the rest of the fiscal year. He anticipates that EB-3 India may advance by one to two weeks and EB-3 Mexico will continue to follow EB-3 worldwide. Charlie states that one of the most dramatic actions for the July Visa Bulletin is that the EB-3 Philippines and “other worker” categories will become unavailable, and will likely remain so through this fiscal year.
  • EB-4:
    • Charlie states that EB-4 has been undergoing a much higher demand than usual. He further states that he may need to establish a cut-off date in September for up to five countries: Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and India. If this is necessary, he states that it will likely be announced in the August visa bulletin.
  • EB-5:
    • The July Visa Bulletin shows that EB-5 advancing by four months for mainland born Chinese, from May 1, 2013 to September 1, 2013. Charlie anticipates that EB-5 will continue to advance and likely reach November 2010 by the end of the fiscal year.

Family Based:

  • In the July 2015 Visa Bulletin, all family based categories have been advancing steadily. Specifically, FB-1, FB-2B and FB-3 advanced a month; FB-2A advanced three to six weeks; and FB-4 advanced six weeks. Charlie conveys that this forward progression is due to the low number of applicants seeking to finalize action on their cases.