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By Allen E. Kaye
Immediately following publication of each month's Visa
Bulletin, Charles ("Charlie") Oppenheim, Chief of the
Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of
State, gives his analysis of current trends and future projections for the various immigrant preference categories.
Through these discussions, it is hoped that Charlie will
provide additional insight, beyond the basic visa availability updates that are provided in the monthly Visa
CHECK-IN WITH DOS’S CHARLIE OPPENHEIM:
January 13, 2017
These are some of the questions Oppenheim answered:
What can we expect in terms of movement of FB- 2 Final
All of the family-based categories will continue to move
at a rate that is consistent with the current pace. I do not
expect any dramatic forward movement or slowing
down in the coming months. FB-2A should continue to
move an average of three week each month.
F- 4 India will continue to move but is not expected to
reach the F- 4 Worldwide date until summer. If there are
unused numbers from the other preference categories
that fall down to F- 4 India, the cut-off date may advance
Movements in the family-based Final Action Dates may
start to slow in the second half of the fiscal year. Updated
projections will appear in the next Visa Bulletin.
Can we expect to see any movement in the "filing" dates
during the fiscal year, or is movement generally confined
to the beginning of the fiscal year?
I monitor these dates throughout the fiscal year and
there may be some updates in the coming months.
Changes in the filing dates tend to be more dramatic at
the beginning of the fiscal year, but changes are sometimes required in the second half of the year based on demand patterns and future needs.
AILA NOTE: This may be helpful for family-based cases
where USCIS is still permitting individuals to file using
the "filing" dates, but is less helpful for employment-based cases unless USCIS adopts these dates to permit
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS: Number usage to date is
higher than last year across the board.
EB-1: Demand in this category remains strong and a cut-
off date for EB- 1 India and EB- 1 China will need to be im-
posed later this fiscal year. Charlie will hold off doing so
for as long as possible, but is confident that it will hap-
pen. When it does, we should not expect the date to ret-
rogress quite as far back as last fiscal year when the date
rolled back to 2010. Charlie continues to expect that the
imposition of a Final Action cut-off date in these cate-
gories will be relatively short-lived and that EB- 1 China
and India will return to "Current" in October when the
FY 2018 numbers become available.
EB-2: Tremendous demand resulting from EB- 3 upgrades
means EB- 2 India will not advance in February and will
likely hold at the current Final Action cut-off date of
April 15, 2008 in March. If demand for EB- 2 Worldwide
remains strong, it is unlikely that EB- 2 India will be able
to benefit from any unused numbers and may be restricted to its 2,800 per country limit. If the trend in demand continues, EB- 2 India is unlikely to recover to last
year's date. We should not expect any significant movement in this category until at least July or August. Charlie
continues to monitor this very closely. If the current
surge in demand is not sustained, and Worldwide demand, or India demand with early priority dates subsides, more forward movement than what is currently
projected may be possible.
EB-3: EB- 3 Worldwide demand has subsided. The decrease in demand that allowed Charlie to advance the
Final Action cut-off date earlier this fiscal year continues, and allowed him to advance the date again to October 1, 2016. While this trend may continue, due to
current USCIS processing times, additional forward
movements after March are unlikely to impact number
usage in this category this fiscal year.
Allen E Kaye, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Queens College of the City of New York, Columbia Law School (JD)
and New York University Law School (LLM), is the
President of the Law Offices of Allen E Kaye and Associates and Of Counsel to Pollack, Pollack, Isaac and DeCicco. He is a past national president of the American
Immigration Lawyers Association and co-chair of the
Immigration Committee of the Queens County Bar Association. He has been selected by Martindale-Hubbell
as a 2014 “Top Rated Lawyer” in the practice of Labor
and Employment (for Immigration) and the 2017 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
Questions for publication may be sent to Kaye at 225
Broadway, Suite 307, New York, NY 10007, or by email
at AllenEKaye5858@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
AVAILABILITY OF IMMIGRANT VISA NUMBERS (FINAL ACTION DATES) – FEB
All Chargeability Areas Except
Countries Separately Listed China India Mexico
Unmarried Sons and Daughters of United States citizens (F1) 22FEB10 22FEB10 22FEB10 08MAY95
Spouses and Unmarried Children of Permanent Residents – (F2A) 15APR15 15APR15 15APR15 01APR15
Unmarried Sons and Daughters
( 21 Years of Age or Older) of Permanent Residents (F2B) 08JUL10 08JUL10 08JUL10 08NOV95
Married Sons and Daughters of US Citizens (F3) 22MAR05 22MAR05 22MAR05 15DEC94
Brothers and Sisters of Adult US Citizens (F4) 08FEB04 22JAN04 15JUN03 22MAY97
All Chargeability Areas Except
Countries Separately Listed China India Mexico
1st C C C C
2nd C 01MAR13 22APR09 C
3rd C 01MAY14 01JUL05 C
Other workers (Unskilled) C 01AUG09 01JUL05 C
4th (Certain Special Immigrants) C C C C
4th (Certain Religious Workers) C C C C
5th (Non-Religious Workers) C 15JUN14 C C
5th (Regional Center) C 15JUN14 C C
Filing dates for employment-based visa categories
No sharp changes likely in FB- 2
final action dates: Oppenheim