Visa Bulletin Predictions for Beyond October 2019

The AILA Department of State liaison committee has recently met with Charlie Oppenheim, the man behind the curtain of the visa bulletin. This is a summary of what Charlie’s visa bulletin crystal ball is saying right now:

Family-Based Categories:

Charlie anticipates that the priority dates in most family-based categories will continue to progress at a steady rate. Please note that right now the F2A category is current, which means a legal permanent resident (green card holder) can file the I-130 petition and I-485 for a minor child or spouse now, without having to wait for the priority date to become current. That is subject to change at any time in upcoming months, but Charlies anticipates that the dates may retrogress in February 2020.

Employment-Based Categories:

EB-1 India is not likely to move forward again until January 2020. He notes that approximately 16,000 applicants in this category have been interviewed and are just waiting for a green card to become available. He also notes that India EB-1 is likely to remain “severely backlogged” for years.

Charlie also says that he doesn’t expect any EB-1 categories to become current anytime soon.

EB-2 is current in October for all categories except India and China; Charlie anticipates limited forward movement for EB-2 India in the coming months, noting that it could progress by up to one week. He also predicts that the priority dates for EB-2 China could advance by up to two months in the coming months.

EB-3 is also current for October for all countries except China, India, and Philippines. Charlie believes that in the second half of the fiscal year (which runs October 1- Sept 30), the demand for EB-3 may be such that he will have to establish cut-off dates. Right now, Charlies anticipates little if any progression for the EB-3 dates for India and China.

The entire green card process can take years, so it’s important to develop a comprehensive immigration strategy to achieve your goals. Don’t have a priority date yet? Contact Sumner Immigration Law to set a consultation to create your strategy today! We are immigration lawyers located in Richmond, VA but we serve clients throughout the US and around the world. You can call us at 804-396-3412 or send us an email to

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