September 2018 Visa Bulletin Check-In: Updated Predictions for FY19

Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division for the U.S. Department of State (DOS), provides visa bulletin explanations and predictions most months. This month, Mr. Oppenheim provides updated predictions for fiscal year 2019 (FY19), which begins on October 1, 2018.

Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1) Category: Cutoff Dates to Remain in Place for Start of FY19

The EB1 category will not return to being current in the October 2018 Visa Bulletin. In fact, Mr. Oppenheim expects that a final action cutoff date will remain necessary in the EB1 category for all countries of chargeability for at least a few months. The cutoff date for EB1 India and EB1 China will continue to trail those of other countries, and not much movement is expected before December 2018.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) and Third Preference (EB3) India: Recovery in October, Then Slow Movement

Although there is major retrogression for EB2 and EB3 India in the September 2018 Visa Bulletin, both categories should recover in October. EB2 India is expected then to advance by up to two weeks per month. EB3 India is predicted to advance slowly “pending receipt of demand from recent advances.”

EB3 China Cutoff Date to Lag Behind EB2 China for Beginning of FY19

EB3 China currently has a more favorable cutoff date than EB2 China. In October, however, this is expected to reverse. For the first part of FY19, EB2 China likely will move up slowly, while EB3 China should advance by up to three weeks per month. Eventually, the cutoff date for EB3 China again may overcome that of EB2 China.

Employment-Based, Fourth Preference (EB4): Advancement for India and Mexico

In the October 2018 Visa Bulletin, EB4 India should become current and EB4 Mexico should return to an October 22, 2016 cutoff date. Meanwhile, the EB4 cutoff dates for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are not expected to retrogress any further for now; but it is unclear when forward movement may be expected.

Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5): Vietnam to Advance More Quickly Than China

Although China and Vietnam currently have the same cutoff date in the EB5 category, their dates should diverge in October. For about the first half of FY19, EB5 Vietnam should move more quickly than EB5 China. For the time being, EB5 should remain current for all other countries of chargeability.


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.