August 17, 2017

VISA BULLETIN UPDATE: DEPARTMENT OF STATE PROJECTIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2018

by Rabindra Singh

Fiscal Year 2018 Visa Bulletin progress and projections provided by Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State:

EB-1 China and EB-1 India: Based on current information, these categories will likely return to “Current” in October 2017. A final action date will definitely be imposed again for EB-1 China and EB-1 India at some point during the summer of 2018.

EB-2 Worldwide: The final action date for EB-2 Worldwide, advances nine months in September, from April 1, 2015, to January 1, 2016. This category will become current again on October 1, 2017, and it should remain current for the foreseeable future.

EB-2 India: Slow movement of a few weeks at a time starting in October 2017. It is hoped that the final action date for EB-2 India will be advanced to a date in December 2008 at some point between January and April 2018, depending on the level of EB-3 upgrade demand. The final action date for EB-2 India could advance to a date in 2009 at some point during the second half of FY 2018.

EB-2 and EB-3 China: Full recovery of EB-3 China is expected in October 2017, putting it once again ahead of the final action date for EB-2 China, creating conditions for EB-3 downgrades. EB-2 China will advance more swiftly than EB-2 India in the coming fiscal year, at a pace of three to six weeks per month.

EB-3 Worldwide: The EB-3 Worldwide final action date, which became current in August, is likely to remain current in October, absent significant demand materializing within the next few weeks. Demand for EB-3 Worldwide will have a significant impact on the ability of the EB-3 India final action date to advance significantly at the end of FY 2018, based on the availability of “otherwise unused” numbers.

EB-3 India: EB-3 India advances three months in September to October 15, 2006, consistent with Charlie’s predictions. This category is expected to continue to advance at a pace of several weeks at a time as we enter the new fiscal year.

EB-3 Philippines: The final action date for EB-3 Philippines advances another five months to November 1, 2015, in September. It is expected that demand in this category may materialize abruptly, but Charlie does not expect that to occur until after the first of the year.

EB-5 China: The final action date for EB-5 China holds at June 15, 2014, in September. This category will sunset at the end of September if the program is not reauthorized by Congress. As in the past, the October Visa Bulletin will likely address the final action date that will apply to this category if it is reauthorized.

FB-1 and FB-4: As noted in the Visa Bulletin, high demand necessitated a temporary retrogression of the final action dates in the FB-1 and FB-4 Worldwide, China, El Salvador, Guatemala, India and Honduras categories for September. A full recovery of the final action dates for these categories will occur in October.

Special Immigrants: In September, the final action date for EB-4 India, Mexico, and El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras advances more than one month to October 22, 2015. EB-4 India will become current in October and will remain so until spring or summer 2018. Additionally, in October, it is possible that EB-4 Mexico will have a later final action date than the one imposed for EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

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