July 2019 Visa Bulletin Check-In

Most months, Charles Oppenheim, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, provides visa bulletin explanations and predictions. Following the release of the July 2019 Visa Bulletin, Mr. Oppenheim explained the reasoning for making the family-based, second preference A (FB2A) category current in the final action (FA) chart, but not the dates-for-filing (DF) chart. He also provides some updated information on what to expect in the coming months. All dates discussed refer to the FA chart, unless otherwise indicated.

Movement in FB2A Category

Mr. Oppenheim says that he made the FB2A category current in the FA chart because many beneficiaries in this category who have opted for consular processing fail to promptly move forward with their cases after the petitions are approved. By making the category current, Mr. Oppenheim hopes to generate enough demand from applicants in this category. However, he took the unusual step of leaving the DF chart with a cutoff date. He says this was done in order to avoid having an overwhelmingly large number of new applicants.

Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1) Category

The EB1 category for India and China is not expected to advance at all before the start of fiscal year 2020 (FY20), which begins October 1, 2019. Mr. Oppenheim aims to have the EB1 India cutoff date return to February 22, 2017, in the October 2019 Visa Bulletin.

The EB1 category for all countries other than India and China likely will retrogress in the near future. However, Mr. Oppenheim hopes the EB1 category will return to having an April 22, 2018 cutoff date for these countries at the start of FY20.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) Category

With the exception of India and China, the EB2 category generally has been current. Due to an uptick in demand, however, Mr. Oppenheim expects to have to impose a cutoff date for the EB2 Worldwide category, perhaps as soon as the August 2019 Visa Bulletin.

The EB2 China category continues to advance, and may share the same cutoff date as EB2 Worldwide, once that category retrogresses. As for EB2 India, Mr. Oppenheim expects it to advance by no more than one week per month.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Category

It now appears that all of the EB3 Worldwide visa numbers will be used, causing this category to retrogress. This is bad news for India, as any unused EB3 numbers would have helped with the EB3 India backlogs. The lack of spillover from EB3 Worldwide could negatively impact the EB3 India cutoff date.


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.