August 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 answered various questions submitted by stakeholders, mainly related to predictions for the September 2021 Visa Bulletin, which will be the last one for the current fiscal year, and expectations for fiscal year 2022 (FY22), which starts on October 1, 2021.

Delays in Immigrant Visa Scheduling at Consulate

The first question Mr. Oppenheim received was related to delays in immigrant visa processing at consulates abroad. In particular, he was asked why an appointment would not yet have been scheduled for someone who had submitted all the necessary documents and whose priority date had been current since March 2021. Mr. Oppenheim explained that the consulates are prioritizing certain case types (e.g., children at risk of aging out, international adoption cases, approved expedite requests). The remaining cases are scheduled chronologically at each consulate, from the point the case is “documentarily complete” (i.e., all docs have been submitted and verified).

No Repeat of July 2007

Mr. Oppenheim was inundated with eMails asking whether we can expect a repeat of what happened in July 2007, when virtually every employment-based category became current. He explained that no, this was not likely to happen. In fact, he does not expect any additional categories to become current at this time. As Mr. Oppenheim explained, the reason the categories became current in 2007 was that there was insufficient demand. Nowadays, there is no shortage of demand in most of the employment-based categories.

Predictions for EB2 and EB3 India

Mr. Oppenheim stated that the cutoff date for EB3 India would likely advance to January 1, 2014, in the September 2021 Visa Bulletin.

As for more long-term predictions, Mr. Oppenheim was asked whether the cutoff date for EB3 India in the final action chart (Chart A) might advance to 2017 in FY22. He said no, he does not expect that to happen. Later, he was asked whether EB2 or EB3 India might advance to a 2016 cutoff date, either in Chart A or the dates for filing chart (Chart B). He responded that EB2 India definitely would not advance that far. As for EB3 India, he said it was not likely to advance that far, either.

General Expectation for FY22

Mr. Oppenheim cautioned that stakeholders should not expect drastic movements in Chart A for the employment-based categories, at least for the first quarter of the new fiscal year. After that, he would evaluate usage and demand.

As an aside, he did note that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) frequently allows for the use of Chart B at the beginning of the new fiscal year.


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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