Check-in with Department of State’s Charlie Oppenheim regarding the August Visa Bulletin

Employment-Based Preference Categories

Further retrogression of the EB-1 Worldwide final action date cannot be ruled out in September, but there will be a recovery of the date in October.

The final action date for EB-1 Worldwide China and EB-1 India will hold at January 1, 2012 in August, and again for September, with the anticipated recovery of visa availability in October. Charlie will continue to watch trends over the summer and is working closely with USCIS to determine applicant demand which will be eligible for processing in October.

EB-4 India Tracks EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico in August. As predicted, in August, EB-4 India joins EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, with a final action date of February 8, 2016, due to an influx of demand in May, June, and early July.EB-4 India will return to current in October.

There is a slim chance of forward movement in EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico in September. If that occurs, the date will likely hold for a few months. Charlie is cautious about advancing this category to avoid a subsequent retrogression. The ever-increasing availability of statistical data required for the determination of this date could lead to slightly more regular movements throughout FY 2019, rather than just during the final quarter.

China. EB-2 China advances two months to March 1, 2015 and EB-3 China advances 1.5 years to July 1, 2014 in August. EB-3 China, which had recently retrogressed due to significant downgrade demand, has subsided somewhat, allowing for this forward movement. At this point there has not been a dramatic increase in EB-2 China demand based on movement of that date, which is allowing some of these numbers to fall to EB-3. Charlie cautions against expectations of regular advancement of EB-3 China during FY-2019, as such movements are dependent on the development of future demand patterns.

India. EB-2 India will hold at March 15, 2009 in August and is anticipated to remain there through this fiscal year. EB-2 Worldwide demand has picked up sufficiently enough to use the remaining EB-2 numbers which had allowed the India EB-2 date to advance. Although Charlie will review the numbers again later this month, unless there is an unlikely dramatic dip in worldwide demand that would justify advancing EB-2 India further, it will continue to hold.

In our last column we reported that EB-2 Worldwide demand is increasing and might require Charlie to impose a final action date before the end of the fiscal year. EB-2 Worldwide will remain current in August. As noted last month, if a final action date is imposed in September, the category will return to current in October.

EB-3 India will advance two months in August to January 1, 2009. The gap in final action dates between EB-2 India (March 15, 2009) and EB-3 India (January 1, 2009) continues to narrow, leaving only 2.5 months between these categories. As to whether he expects these dates will “flip-flop” as they have for China in recent years, Charlie reminds members that he advanced the final action date for EB-3 India to generate demand for visa usage next fiscal year. Once that demand starts to materialize it is likely to slow EB-3 India’s advancement. The possibility of EB-3 India’s final action date advancing beyond that of EB-2 India cannot be ruled out but Charlie is not able to speculate on this at this time.

EB-5. EB-5 China Non-Regional Center and Regional Center will continue to hold at August 1, 2014 in August and is expected to advance one week either in September or in October.

EB-5 Vietnam Non-Regional Center and Regional Center similarly holds at August 1, 2014. Charlie expects this category to advance to a 2016 date in October but cautions that the category it is likely to retrogress again once it hits its annual limit by spring.

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