January Visa Bulletin – Check-in with Charlie Oppenheim, Department of State 

Employment-Based Preference Categories

EB-1 China and EB-1 India. These categories will remain current for the coming months, but the imposition of a final action date in the summer remains possible.

EB-2 Worldwide. The final action dates for this category will remain current for the foreseeable future.

EB-2 China and EB-3 China. No future projections provided by Charlie.

EB-2 India. Consistent with Charlie’s predictions, in January, EB-2 India will again advance by less than one month from November 1, 2008, to November 22, 2008. It is not likely that the final action date for this category will move into 2009 before summer.

EB-3 India. The final action date for EB-3 India will advance two weeks from October 15, 2006, to November 1, 2006, in January. As we move into the second quarter of Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, demand in this category is levelling out following heavy visa number usage in October. This allows for modest forward advancement which Charlie hopes will continue at the pace of up to a few weeks each month.

EB-4 Religious Workers and EB-5 Regional Center Categories “Unavailable. Congressional authorization for the EB-4 Certain Religious Workers (SR) and EB-5 Regional Center (I5 and R5) categories will sunset on December 22, 2017, if they are not reauthorized by Congress. If legislative action is taken to extend the authorization for these categories, EB-4 (SR) final action dates would become current, except EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, which would have a final action date of December 1, 2015, and EB-4 Mexico, which would have a final action date of June 1, 2016. 

EB-5 China Non-Regional Center. This category advances one week to July 22, 2014, in January.

Family-Based Categories 

The recent retrogressions in FB-1 Philippines and FB-2B Philippines may continue to hold for a while. FB-1 Philippines has already used more than forty percent of its annual numbers, whereas it normally uses fifty-four percent of its visa numbers by March. This means that FB-1 Philippines only has approximately eleven percent of its numbers to use between January and March.

FB-4 India is advancing, and the FB-2A category for all countries is also moving faster than expected.

Posting of Projections in the Visa Bulletin

Members should not expect projections to be reported in the Visa Bulletin until February at the earliest due to uncertainty in how the transition of employment-based I-485 processing to USCIS field offices will impact visa number demand. Once Charlie gains more clarity regarding the rate of USCIS field office processing of employment based I-485s, reporting of projections in the Visa Bulletin should resume.

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