Check-in with Department of State Charlie Oppenheim Regarding April 2019 Visa Bulletin

Family-Based: Charlie advises that we can expect movements in the family-based preference categories consistent with those in recent visa bulletins. However, he cautions that we should not get too accustomed to consistent rapid forward movement in these categories.




Charlie warns that we should not expect any movement for EB-1 China and EB-1 India Final Action Dates. Movement for both is only possible if EB-1 Worldwide demand slows down to a sufficient level that would allow otherwise unused numbers to be allocated to these countries. If the current demand trends continue, that is unlikely. We should expect movement of anywhere from no movement to up to one month for EB-1 Worldwide Final Action Dates.

Charlie mentioned that only about half of the EB-2 Worldwide numbers for this fiscal year have been used, which is approximately where he would like that number to be. If the current demand trend continues, EB-2 Worldwide should remain current throughout the FY2019.


EB-2 and EB-3 India Remain Flipped:

In the April 2019 Visa Bulletin, the EB-2 India Final Action Date once again advances only three days to April 12, 2009. EB-3 India remains ahead of EB-2 India, advancing a full month for a Final Action Date of June 22, 2009.

Since EB-2 Worldwide demand is on target to use, but not exceed its numbers this fiscal year, few, if any numbers can be expected to be left unused. Thus, there will likely not be any additional numbers available for EB-2 India use.


EB-2 and EB-3 China:

In contrast to India, EB-2 China remains ahead of EB-3 China. In April 2019, EB-2 China advances three months to a Final Action Date of April 1, 2016, and EB-3 China advances three weeks to a Final Action Date of August 1, 2015. Like India, these trends are expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

EB-3 Philippines:

Rapid advancement continues for EB-3 Philippines in April, as the category leaps forward three months for a Final Action Date of March 1, 2018.


We should expect continued forward movement in EB-4 Mexico until this category reaches it per country limit, at which time its Final Action Date will match that of EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras may experience some additional movement in May or June 2019, though it will be minimal.

According to Charlie, EB-4 India is likely to reach its per country limit again in either August or September of FY2019. He expects that when this occurs the category will retrogress briefly, and then come current again on October 1, 2019.