May 2021 Visa Bulletin Check-In

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently held its monthly YouTube program with Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division. During the program, Mr. Oppenheim discussed his predictions for the June 2021 Visa Bulletin, as well as predications for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Limited Family-Based Movement Expected

Due to the movement in the April visa bulletin, Mr. Oppenheim only expects minimal (if any) forward movement in the family-based categories for the remainder of fiscal year 2021 (FY21). The only exception may be advancement in the FB4 preference category, which is for siblings of U.S. citizens.

Continued Advancement in Employment-Based Visa Categories

Mr. Oppenheim continues to expect ongoing advancement in all employment-based (EB) categories due to the limited use of visa numbers abroad in the last fiscal year. This advancement likely will benefit both Indian and Chinese nationals. Most notably, Mr. Oppenheim reiterated that, by the September 2021 Visa Bulletin, he expects the final action dates will meet or surpass the dates for filing from the October 2020 Visa Bulletin.

Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1)

Mr. Oppenheim expects that the EB1 category will remain current for the rest of fiscal year (FY 2021).

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

There will continue to be rapid movement in the EB2 and EB3 categories for China and India. Mr. Oppenheim expects that EB2 China will advance to dates in the Summer of 2017 or later. He also expects that the EB3 cutoff dates will continue to move aggressively in the coming months, likely on par with the 5-month advancement seen in the May 2021 Visa Bulletin. It is still unclear how the EB2 to EB3 “downgrade” cases filed by Indians in October 2021 will impact overall visa availability.

Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5)

While EB5 China is not expected to advance rapidly, Mr. Oppenheim says that he expects some advancement in the EB5 China category in the June 2021 Visa Bulletin.

Final Action or Dates for Filing Chart

Mr. Oppenheim explains that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) makes a determination of whether to use the final action chart (i.e., Chart A) or the dates for filing chart (i.e., Chart B,) by considering annual limits, numbers of applications already in the pipeline, and the number of cases the agency has that are pending action. If the USCIS believes that the totals are sufficient to use all available numbers, only Chart A will be relied upon. Notably, Mr. Oppenheim advised that individuals should pay special attention to the charts used in the coming months, which may mean that the USCIS intends to return to using the more favorable Chart B dates during that time.


MurthyDotCom will continue to monitor and report predictions and movements related to the monthly visa bulletin. Subscribe to the MurthyBulletin to have updates on this and other topics delivered to your inbox.


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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.