Each month the American Immigration Lawyers Association has a “check-in” with Charlie Oppenheim, the man behind the curtain of the visa bulletin. During this check-in, Mr. Oppenheim provides us with his own insights and analysis of current green card demand, and predictions about what might happen in the coming months.
In April 2018, Mr. Oppenheim had the following insights:
- He anticipates that the family-based priority dates will continue to advance at a slow and steady pace. He notes that the family-based categories generally progress at a more consistent pace than employment-based categories, primarily because most of these cases go through the National Visa Center, which only accepts cases based on the final action date. That makes it easier for him to predict actual usage of the green cards.
- On the other hand, many of the employment-based green card cases are filed through USCIS, and employment-based cases now require in-person interviews. As a result, the processing timeframes for these cases depend a lot on how quickly local USCIS offices can schedule and conduct these interviews. Therefore it is harder for him to predict how quickly the green cards will be used, which results in greater fluctuations for the employment-based categories.
- He predicts that most employment-based final action dates will remain the same in June (as compared to May) but may change some in July.
- It is possible that some green cards will be available again for EB-1 China and India, but that depends on overall usage in that category.
- Likewise, it is possible that the final action dates for China EB-2 and China EB-3 will advance later in the year, but Mr. Oppenheim does not anticipate that to happen in June.
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