August 2017 Visa Bulletin Check-in: Discouraging Predictions for FY18

Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division for the U.S. Department of State (DOS), provides visa bulletin explanations and predictions nearly every month. The update this month for the August 2017 Visa Bulletin includes both some short-term predictions and some predictions for fiscal year 2018 (FY18), which begins October 1, 2017. All of the predictions provided are for the final action (FA) chart.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) India: Disappointing News

Due to a spike in ‘upgrade’ cases from the employment-based, third preference (EB3) category, EB2 India will not advance in September 2017, and may even retrogress. If that occurs, the cutoff date would return to the current date of July 22, 2008, in October.

More discouraging is the fact that, for FY18, EB2 India is predicted to advance at about the same pace as it did in fiscal year 2017 (FY17). If that holds true, this category would only advance by about one year by the end of FY18. Moreover, any such advancement is expected to be made fairly conservatively for the first quarter of the fiscal year, in order, hopefully, to avoid major retrogression later.

EB3 India: Slower Advancement in FY18

Although the cutoff date for EB3 India has moved relatively swiftly in recent months, Mr. Oppenheim expects that there will be increased demand for EB3 worldwide in FY18. If that holds true, this would mean fewer visa numbers available to trickle down to the heavily backlogged EB3 India category.

EB2 and EB3 China: Expect More ‘Downgrade’ Cases

EB3 China is predicted to maintain a more favorable cutoff date than EB2 China in October 2017. This means that the phenomenon of downgrading from EB2 China to EB3 China will likely continue.

Family-Based, Second Preference “A” (FB2A): Movement in October

The FB2A category is for spouses and children of lawful permanent residents (i.e. “green card” holders). This category is not expected to move much in September 2017. However, stakeholders should expect to see the cutoff date advance, once the new fiscal year begins. No predictions were provided regarding how quickly the dates may move forward, however.

Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5) China: Slow Progress

EB5 China only advanced by one week in the August 2017 Visa Bulletin. For at least the near future, this category is not expected to see much movement.


As always, it is important to note that these are predictions, not guarantees. Circumstances could change that would alter the movement in the aforementioned categories. To receive future updates on the visa bulletin and other immigration matters delivered to your inbox, subscribe to the MurthyBulletin, or check MurthyDotCom.


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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.