April 2017 Visa Bulletin Check-In: Explanations and Predictions27 Mar 2017
Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division for the U.S. Department of State (DOS), provides visa bulletin explanations and predictions almost every month. The update this month for the April 2017 Visa Bulletin provides predictions related to most employment-based categories, as well as some information on family-based cases.
Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1)
As has been previously reported, there has been heavy demand for EB1 visa numbers from India and China. Mr. Oppenheim expects to impose a cutoff date in this category for these two countries sometime this summer.
China: Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) & Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)
The cutoff date for EB3 China continues to be significantly more favorable than the cutoff date for EB2 China. Yet, the number of EB2-to-EB3 “downgrade” requests has been relatively low. For April 2017, Mr. Oppenheim is advancing EB3 China by five months, putting it seventeen months ahead of EB2 China. It remains to be seen whether this will drive a larger number of EB3 China filings.
Employment-Based, Fourth Preference (EB4)
There continues to be high demand in the EB4 category for Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. That being said, Mr. Oppenheim is still not ruling out the possibility of the cutoff date advancing this summer.
Family-Based Preference Categories
The cutoff dates for most family-based preference categories are expected to continue advancing in the coming months. The one exception is the worldwide cutoff date in the family-based, fourth preference (FB4) category, which is for siblings of U.S. citizens. The FB4 category will likely remain at a standstill until July 2017.
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