Check-in with Department of State’s Charlie Oppenheim regarding the June 2019 Visa Bulletin
General Trends and Observations: Employment-based (EB) adjustment of status applications filed on or after March 6, 2017 require an in-person interview at the local USCIS District Field Offices. As of 2017, only 14,000 to 15,000 applications were processed at USCIS District Offices. At this time, the majority of adjustment of status applications are now at the local USCIS offices. Initial concern that this policy would lead to longer processing times resulted in an increase in consular processing. Although the consular processing of employment-based immigrant visas continues to be elevated, Charlie believes that this trend may subside as people become more comfortable with the USCIS adjustment of status interview process.
Based on the number use through the first half of FY2018, Charlie was concerned that number usage for the year might be 10-15,000 lower than the annual limit due to lower than normal number use by USCIS Offices. However, beginning in mid-April 2018, USCIS doubled its number use in several employment preferences, which in turn necessitated imposition of a final action date for
EB-1 Worldwide demand remains steady. The Final Action Date is likely to hold as Charlie continues to monitor demand trends. If there is any movement in this category, it is not expected to move more than 6 weeks. Charlie does not anticipate that EB-1 Worldwide will return to "Current" in the foreseeable future.
Charlie also indicated that EB-1 India will not advance again this fiscal year. It should return to a Final Action Date of February 22, 2017 in October 2019.
EB-1 China is expected to advance to May 8, 2017 in the July 2019 bulletin.
EB-2 Worldwide is expected to remain current through FY19. Some downgrades are contributing to changes in demand for this category.
EB-2 China will advance to November 1, 2016 in the July 2019 bulletin. This category continues to advance rapidly due to low demand. Advancements in this category could slow in the future if demand increases.
EB-2 India will continue to advance very slowly, in daily movements, or up to one week at the most. Charlie noted that there are 14,000 Indians with pending adjustment of status applications filed in 2012 in the queue for numbers in this category. Lower Worldwide EB-2 demand may allow for the advancement of this date during the summer. This situation is being closely monitored.
Charlie anticipates that EB-3 Worldwide should remain current through FY19. There is always a possibility that it would be necessary to impose a final action date later in the fiscal year, but only if demand increases. Currently, that does not appear likely.
EB-3 China should advance to January 1, 2016 in July 2019. Demand in this category is starting to increase. However, if demand in EB-2 China remains steady, it may be possible to shift some of those numbers to EB-3 China.
The Final Action Date for EB-3 India will hold in July 2019. Earlier in the year, Charlie hoped he would have more overflow from unused Worldwide EB-3 numbers to shift to EB-3 India, but that has not happened to the extent expected. Since Charlie lacks visibility of this demand, he cannot speculate on how long the wait might be for this category, or when it will move forward.
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