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September 2016 – Monthly AILA Check-In with Charlie Oppenheim

Posted in China, Department of State, EB-3, Immigrant Visa, USCIS, Visa, Visa Bulletin

After the release of the October Visa Bulletin, Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of Visa Control and Reporting Division for the U.S. Department of State (DOS), provided his predictions on the future movement in the employment-based green card categories.  They are summarized below:

EB-1 China and India

In the October bulletin, final action dates for India and China will be current. Charlie predicted that EB-1 China and EB-1 India will remain current for the foreseeable future but will depend on the demand.

EB-2 and EB-3 China

EB-2 China will have a final action date of February 15, 2012, almost one year behind EB-3 China’s final action date of January 23, 2013. Thus, many applicants may start considering the EB-3 downgrade again for FY2017.  Charlie indicated that he did not advance either of these final action date to the full number use target given the likelihood of demand at USCIS that is not yet visible and to minimize the need for corrective action later in the fiscal year.  He also noted that he hopes to keep the final action dates for EB-2 and EB-3 China as close to one another as possible.

EB-2 and EB-3 India

Charlie predicted the final action date for EB-2 India would advance to January 15, 2007 in October and he was correct. Charlie mentioned that he expects this category will advance at a pace of up to four months at a time.  Slower movements are anticipated for EB-3 India, which will advance to a March 1, 2005 final action date in October.  It is important to note that Charlie speculated that usage for EB-3 India is expected to be high in October, which will decrease the amount of numbers he can allocate in November and December. This will definitely slow the advancement of this category.

EB-2 and EB-3 Worldwide

As predicted by Charlie,  EB-2 Worldwide will again be current in October and ahead of EB-3 Worldwide which will have a final action date of June 1, 2016.  He also predicts that the demand EB-2 Worldwide will increase significantly in October and there could be a cut-off date during the first half of the fiscal year.

EB-3 Philippines

The final action date for EB-3 Philippines will be December 1, 2010 in October. Charlie predicts this category to initially move up to three weeks per month.  It is possible that the final action date will move through 2011 and that it will be well into 2013 by the end of the fiscal year, but that will be updated as it progresses.

EB-5

In the October Visa Bulletin, EB-5 China non-regional centers will have a final action date of February 22, 2015 and EB-5 China regional centers will be “unavailable”.  As previously reported, due to the sunset of the EB-5 Regional Center Program on Sept. 30, 2016, the “Final Action Dates” for EB-5 Regional Center are listed as “U” for “unavailable.”  Charlie has indicated that this category be reauthorized, the final action date will be set at February 22, 2014.  It is important to note that the State Department has set tentative Immigrant Visa appointments for the second half of October 2016, which will be remain scheduled in the event that Congress reauthorizes the program.