December 2017 Visa Bulletin Check-In: No Significant Revelations27 Nov 2017
Most months, Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division for the U.S. Department of State (DOS), provides visa bulletin explanations and predictions. There is precious little new information provided for the December 2017 Visa Bulletin. No updated predictions were provided for the employment-based, second preference (EB2) category for India or China, or for the employment-based, third preference (EB3) category for China. The few predictions that were provided relate solely to the final action (FA) charts.
Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1): Will Remain Current for First Half of Fiscal Year
Mr. Oppenheim continues to predict that, for the time being, EB1 will remain current for all countries of chargeability. This is expected to remain the case at least through the first half of fiscal year 2018 (FY18), which began on October 1, 2017.
EB3 India: Unclear Whether Any Movement Will Occur in January 2018
The cutoff date for EB3 India has not advanced at all for several months. Depending on demand in this category over the next several weeks, it is possible that the cutoff date will remain stuck with its current October 15, 2006 cutoff date in the January 2018 Visa Bulletin.
Impact of In-Person Interview Requirements
As previously reported, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is mandating in-person interviews for the vast majority of employment-based I-485 applications filed after March 6, 2017. One concern that this new requirement has raised is whether it could lead to even further delays and backlogs in the green card process.
With regard to the in-person interview requirement, Mr. Oppenheim noted that the impact is unlikely to be felt before the second half of FY18 due to the large number of pending I-485 applications, many of which were filed on or before March 6th. As time goes on, Mr. Oppenheim expects to get a better understanding of how these interviews affect processing times, and may have to then adjust the movement of cutoff dates for employment-based cases accordingly.
MurthyDotCom will continue to closely monitor and report on movement and predictions related to the monthly visa bulletin. Subscribe to the MurthyBulletin to receive future updates.
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