October 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. The October 2021 Visa Bulletin included predictions, but Mr. Oppenheim provided some additional information during the program. Most notably, he provided more insight into the possible need to retrogress the cutoff dates for the EB3 category for India and China.

Details on EB3 India and China

The October 2021 Visa Bulletin cautions that the cutoff dates for EB3 India and China may retrogress in the near future. When asked why this may be necessary, Mr. Oppenheim explained that the pending demand for EB3 India and China already exceeds the visa numbers that are available for all of fiscal year 2022, which begins on October 1, 2021. This is despite the fact that Mr. Oppenheim expects to have about 290,000 immigrant visa numbers available for the upcoming fiscal year, which is a record high.

Pressed for more details, Mr. Oppenheim indicated he was still unsure when retrogression may occur, or by how much. He said the goal is to have to retrogress only once, and to leave open the possibility of moving forward again later in the fiscal year.

Later in the program, Mr. Oppenheim was asked whether he believed the final action date for EB3 India might advance to a March 2014 cutoff date by the end of the new fiscal year. Mr. Oppenheim said he did not expect it to do so.

No Movement in Family-Based Categories

Mr. Oppenheim was asked why no movement was expected in any of the family-based categories. He explained that, throughout much of the pandemic, the family-based categories had been moved forward to try to generate demand. There is now sufficient demand for the available immigrant visa numbers, at least for the first part of the new fiscal year.


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