CHECK IN WITH CHARLIE OPPENHEIM, DOS, REGARDING NOVEMBER VISA BULLETIN

Family-Based Preference Categories

All of the family-based final action dates advance in November with the exception of FB-1 Mexico and FB-3 Mexico, which will hold at August 1, 1997 and December 22, 1995.

Demand for FB-3 India is extremely heavy. Charlie reports that he has not previously seen this much consistent demand in the FB-3 category in any other country.

Employment-Based Preference Categories

EB-1. As predicted last month, the EB-1 final action dates hold steady in November. Although it now appears likely that there will be some forward movement in December for EB-1 China, EB-1 India and EB-1 Worldwide, it remains unclear how far these categories will advance, though they will not return to current this calendar year. Charlie also cautions not to expect EB-1 Worldwide to return to current in the foreseeable future and that this is likely to be “the new normal” through at least the first half of the fiscal year.

EB-2 China and EB-3 China. EB-2 China leaps forward one and one-half months to May 15, 2015 in November, while EB-3 China holds at June 1, 2015, rendering EB-3 China only two weeks ahead of EB-2 China. Based on available demand data, members should expect EB-2 China to continue to advance. In contrast, the current demand pattern in EB-3 China continues to be heavy, prohibiting forward advancement at this time. It is unclear whether this surge in EB-3 China demand is attributable to downgrades from EB-2 or new third preference filings. This creates the possibility that EB-2 China will surpass EB-3 China again.

EB-2 India and EB-3 India. There is no advancement in November in any of the employment-based final action dates for India. The September projection of limited movement in EB-2 India continues to apply, and any advancement that may occur in December will be limited to no more than one week. In contrast, demand in EB-3 India is light, so members should start to see a fairly sizeable advancement in this category of at least a few weeks (and possibly months) in December.

The EB-3 India final action date moved very rapidly over the past year, advancing almost one and one-half years. Current demand projections make it likely that EB-3 India could surpass EB-2 India at some point this fiscal year.

EB-3 Philippines and Other Workers Philippines. In November, EB-3 Philippines and Other Workers Philippines advances one week to June 8, 2017. Members should continue to expect only minimal movement in this category during the first quarter of the fiscal year. This slow forward movement is based on a concern that rapid forward movement during the past year will eventually result in an increased level of demand.

EB-4. The final action date for EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras holds at February 15, 2016 in November due to a significant amount of potential demand prior to that date, and pre-adjudicated demand beyond it. EB-4 Mexico will continue to advance at a steady pace until it reaches its per country limit, at which time it will return to the same final action date as EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. It will probably take until at least the spring for this to occur.

EB-5. EB-5 (Regional Center and Non-Regional Center) China holds at August 15, 2014 in November, with EB-5 (Regional Center and Non-Regional Center) Vietnam continuing to advance until it reaches its per country limit, at which time, its final action date will track that of EB-5 China.

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