Analysis, Predictions, and Trends: April 2015 Visa Bulletin Update

Each month, Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division of the U.S. Department of State (DOS), provides insight into the contents of the latest visa bulletin and, when possible, offers predictions for future visa bulletin developments. The information provided by Mr. Oppenheim for the April 2015 Visa Bulletin is not particularly surprising, but it does help to solidify expectations for the coming months.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) India: Continued Advancement

The EB2 category for India advances by eight months in the April 2015 Visa Bulletin, to September 1, 2007. The DOS expects steady, continued advancement in this category over the course of the next several months. Toward the end of the fiscal year (30.Sep.2015), however, it may be necessary to slow the pace of advancement or possibly even stop the forward movement entirely. This depends upon visa number supply-and-demand levels in this category.

EB2 and Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) China: ‘Downgrades’ End

As of April 1, 2015, the EB3 cutoff date for China retrogresses by over nine months, to January 1, 2011. This retrogression places the EB3 China cutoff date behind the cutoff date for EB2 China, which moves to April 1, 2011. Thus, for the time being, it will no longer be beneficial to request a “downgrade” from EB2 to EB3 China. The demand created by such downgraded cases in previous months is largely responsible for the retrogression in this category.

EB3 India Priority Date is 08.Jan.2004

EB3 India continues to lag far behind, with a cutoff date of January 8, 2004 in the April 2015 Visa Bulletin. In response to questions about this category, the DOS explained that it would be necessary to have a change in the law in order to see any significant advancement in the EB3 India category.

The volume of pending, pre-adjudicated EB3 India cases simply prevents advancement, given the limited visa numbers in this category. The DOS stated that more than 9,100 EB3 applicants with priority dates earlier than January 1, 2005 are currently pending with the DOS Visa Office. The entire annual limit in this category is 2,875 visa numbers. The only way for this to improve, other than a legislative change, would be for EB3 worldwide to become current. In that event, any excess numbers could be made available to EB3 India. Even though EB3 worldwide is advancing rapidly, however, the DOS does not anticipate that it will become current in the foreseeable future.

EB3 Worldwide for Mexico and the Philippines Moves to 01.Oct.2014

The cutoff date in the EB3 category for all countries of chargeability, other than China and India, is quite favorable, advancing to October 1, 2014 in the April 2015 Visa Bulletin. The DOS predicts further significant advancement in May 2015.

Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5) China

The DOS anticipates establishing a cutoff date in the EB5 China category by no later than June 2015.


The information provided by Mr. Oppenheim regarding the visa bulletin is greatly appreciated. This information is important in immigration planning and general understanding of the inner workings of the visa bulletin process. To stay informed on the latest visa bulletin developments and other news related to immigration law, subscribe to the free MurthyBulletin.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.