January 2018 Visa Bulletin Check-In: No Significant Revelations22 Dec 2017
Most months, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, Charles Oppenheim, provides visa bulletin explanations and predictions. For the January 2018 Visa Bulletin, Mr. Oppenheim’s predictions are regarding some key employment-based categories, as well as a minor update on the impact of the new in-person interview requirement for I-485 applicants who file based on I-140 petitions. All of the predictions provided relate solely to the final action (FA) charts.
Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1): Will Remain Current, but May Retrogress in Summer
Mr. Oppenheim expects the EB1 category to remain current for the coming months. It is still possible, however, that a cutoff date will need to be imposed during the summer of 2018.
Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) India: Minimal Movement for Coming Months
In January, the cutoff date for EB2 India advances to November 22, 2008. Mr. Oppenheim does not expect EB2 India to reach a 2009 cutoff date before the summer of 2018.
Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) India: Demand is Leveling Off
In the January 2018 Visa Bulletin, the cutoff date for EB3 India moves forward by two weeks to a new cutoff date of November 1, 2006. Although this movement is quite modest, it is still better than the complete lack of forward movement this category has faced in recent months.
Mr. Oppenheim notes that, in October 2017, there was heavy demand in the EB3 India category. This demand has since leveled off, so the expectation is that the cutoff date will continue to advance by up to a few weeks per month.
More Time Needed to Ascertain Impact of In-Person Interview Requirements
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now mandating in-person interviews for the vast majority of employment-based I-485 applications filed after March 6, 2017. It seems inevitable that this added workload for local USCIS field offices will result in increased processing times for I-485 applications. How this will impact movement in the visa bulletin still remains to be seen. Mr. Oppenheim says he will not be able to make updated predictions that take into account the new interview requirement until February, at the earliest.
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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