July 2017 Visa Bulletin Check-In: Short-Term Predictions

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 for the July 2017 Visa Bulletin provides predictions related to a number of employment-based categories for the remainder of fiscal year 2017 (FY17), which ends on September 30, 2017. All of the predictions provided are for the final action (FA) chart.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) India: Sluggish Advancement in Coming Months

EB2 India moves up to a July 22, 2008 cutoff date in July 2017. Mr. Oppenheim expects that, at best, EB2 India will advance to an October 2008 cutoff date by the end of FY17. Mr. Oppenheim says that this is because there has been high demand for EB2, especially from India. He also notes that about 40% of those in the EB2 India category are ‘upgrade’ cases from the employment-based, third preference (EB3) category.

EB2 and EB3 China: ‘Downgrade’ Filings Led to EB3 Retrogression

In the July 2017 Visa Bulletin, the cutoff date for EB3 China retrogresses significantly, to January 1, 2012. This was caused by a large number of EB2-to-EB3 ‘downgrade’ filings. Meanwhile, EB2 China advances by a few weeks, to March 22, 2013. This marks the first time in FY17 that the cutoff date for EB2 China has been more favorable than the one for EB3 China.

The cutoff date for EB3 China is expected to hold steady until October 1, 2017, which is the start of fiscal year 2018 (FY18). Once FY18 begins, EB3 China should return to an October 1, 2014 cutoff date.

EB3 India: Forward Progress to Continue

In the latest visa bulletin, the cutoff date for EB3 India moves ahead by nine months to February 15, 2006. Mr. Oppenheim anticipates that this category will continue to advance for the rest of the fiscal year.

EB3 Philippines: Rapid Advancement Expected

EB3 Philippines advances by just over a year in the July 2017 Visa Bulletin, to a new cutoff date of May 15, 2014. Mr. Oppenheim believes that, by the end of FY17, the cutoff date should advance to an autumn 2015 cutoff date.

Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5) China: Small Movement Possible

EB5 China saw no advancement in the latest visa bulletin, remaining with a cutoff date of June 8, 2014. Next month, EB5 China may inch forward by about a week. There could be some additional movement in this category in September 2017, as well.

EB5 is current for all other countries of chargeability, and is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future.


As always, it is important to note that these are predictions, not guarantees. Circumstances could change, and that would alter the movement in the aforementioned categories. For weekly updates on the visa bulletin and other immigration matters, please subscribe to the 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.