May 2018 Visa Bulletin Check-In: Short-Term Predictions

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 May 2018 Visa Bulletin, Mr. Oppenheim only provides some very minor, short-term predictions.

Family-Based Preference Categories

For most family-based (FB) preference petitions, the beneficiary is located abroad, resulting in the cases being filed for consular processing. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) frequently allows the use of the ‘dates for filing’ charge for FB cases. This allows Mr. Oppenheim to more precisely track demand in the various FB categories, which helps to better eliminate the need for drastic movement of cutoff dates, forward or backward. Accordingly, for the time being, FB categories likely will continue to move at a relatively even pace.

Minimal Movement Expected for Employment-Based Categories in June

Mr. Oppenheim reports that the cutoff dates likely will remain unchanged in most employment-based visa categories in the June 2018 Visa Bulletin. Depending upon the speed of I-485 processing at USCIS field offices, there may be some movement in July 2018.

Possible Retrogression in 2019 for EB5 for India, South Korea, and Brazil

The employment-based fifth-preference (EB5) immigrant investor program has historically been current for all countries of chargeability, save China. Last month, however, a cutoff date was put in place for Vietnam. As demand continues to grow, Mr. Oppenheim expects that, in about one year, cutoff dates may become necessary for India, South Korea, Brazil, and possibly Taiwan. While the backlogs for these countries will not be nearly as severe as that being experienced by EB5 China, it eventually could increase the wait time to secure a green card through the EB5 program.


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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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.