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Department of State Discusses Visa Numbers Expectations for December

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On Wednesday, October 23, 2013, Mr. Charlie Oppenheim of the Department of State’s Visa Office spoke to the Washington D.C. Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association dinner. Below are notes from that meeting. These notes are Mr. Oppenheim’s impressions at this time, and are subject to change based on usage or new developments.

  • His office is concerned again this year that the EB-5 numbers for China are moving too fast and there could be a cut-off for China EB-5 in June 2014 or later, if usage remains at the current levels. Worldwide EB-5 usage is up as well.
  • The India EB-2 cutoff date is expected to retrogress from June 2008 (which is what it is in the November 2013 Visa Bulletin) to 2004 or 2005 in December 2013. This is due in large part to Indian nationals “upgrading” from EB-3 to EB-2. See below for more on upgrades.
  • India EB-3 will continue to move very slowly.
  • Upgrades continue to be a tough issue to manage. USCIS does not appear to be working to develop any processes or procedures to better capture upgraded employment-based cases so there is no better information expected from that agency to assist Mr. Oppenheim’s office in better managing these numbers.
  • Worldwide EB-2 is expected to remain current.
  • Worldwide EB-3 could move up to 2011 in the December Visa Bulletin.
  • Worldwide EB-1 is expected to remain current.
  • China EB-2 will continue to move slowly.
  • China EB-3 is expected to continue to be ahead of a China’s EB-2 priority date. Members are reminded that they may be able to use an expired EB-2 PERM for a new EB-3 category. As long as the first EB-2 I-140 was approved, the PERM can be used to file a second I-140 under EB-3. See this USCIS memo for more information (AILA Doc. No. 07062172)
  • EB-4 is expected to remain current.
  • Family-based 2A (spouses and children under 21 of permanent residents) is expected to hold at its current date. Mexico FB-2A may need to retrogress in the future. Many FB-2A applicants are not showing up for their appointments, or their applications are being returned from the posts.

AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12012349 (posted Nov. 1, 2013)

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