April 2021 Visa Bulletin Check-In

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has launched a new monthly program on YouTube, to allow Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, to provide insight and predictions related to the visa bulletin. This month, Mr. Oppenheim provides some updated predictions for the rest of fiscal year 2021 (FY21), which runs through September 30, 2021.

Usage of Family-Based Visas Remains Low

The usage of family-based (FB) immigrant visas remains low due to the ongoing pandemic. This is because over 95 percent of FB immigrant visas are processed by consular posts overseas, many of which have very limited visa appointments available.

Unused FB visas will be added on to employment-based visas preference categories. Advances in the FB category are anticipated in May.

Rapid Advance of Employment-Based Visa Categories for the rest of FY2021

Due to the low usage of FB visas, the potential available EB visas for the next fiscal year will be at least 275,000. This will have a positive impact on EB visa availability for China and India.

Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1)

EB1 will remain current for the rest of fiscal year 2021 (FY21).

Employment-Based, Second and Third Preferences (EB2 & EB3)

There will be rapid movement in the EB2 and EB3 categories for China and India, beginning in May 2021. EB2 and EB3 cutoff dates also may advance significantly in FY2022. More will be known about FY2022 later in the year. Mr. Oppenheim does not yet have figures on the number of EB2-to-EB3 “downgrade” cases, so he is not able to predict how that will impact visa availability.

Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5)

EB5 China is not expected to advance for the rest of the fiscal year since there are more than 9,000 in the pipeline with final action dates current to date. The cutoff date for EB5 Vietnam will continue to advance at a steady pace, but corrective action is possible at the end of the fiscal year, if demand spikes.


MurthyDotCom will continue to monitor and report predictions and movements 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.