Visa Bulletin Predictions - June 2017 and Beyond

The man behind the visa bulletin, Charlie Oppenheim, has recently shared some of his predictions and insights into the visa bulletin with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). The highlights include:

EB-1 and EB-2 Worldwide: There has been a “dramatic” increase in the demand in these categories, and there may be a cut-off date over the summer.

Update as of 5/11/2017: A cut-off date of 1 Jan 2012 has been established for EB-1 India and China. This means that starting June 1, 2017, would-be I-485 applicants in those categories cannot submit the I-485. We are not able to predict precisely when green cards will be available again for these categories, but it may not be until October 2017. That means that even if you submit an EB-1 I-140 petition, or have one pending or approved, you would not be able to submit the I-485 and the accompanying applications for a work permit and travel document (EAD/AP).

EB-1 for India and China: So far this fiscal year, these categories have benefited from “otherwise unused numbers” but Charlie anticipates those unused numbers will dry up in the coming months, and a cut-off date will be established at least by the July visa bulletin.

EB-2 India: Charlie anticipates that the best case scenario is that this category may advance to December 2008.

EB-2 and EB-3 China: There is a widening gap between the priority dates for EB-2 and EB-3 for China and as a result, some applicants who qualify for EB-2 may choose to “downgrade” to EB-3 as the EB-3 date is more favorable. Charlie anticipates that the EB-2 China dates will not advance much, but the EB-3 dates may advance considerably, at least until the downgrading slows down the advancement.

While this news may be discouraging, especially for some EB-1 and EB-2 hopefuls, keep in mind that the new fiscal year, with fresh green cards available, begins in October 2017. Over the summer is the perfect time to start the green card process if you have not already, so that you are ready to file the I-485 when green cards are available again.

Do you need assistance with a family-based or employment-based immigration matter? Please contact our office at 804-396-3412 or at to learn how we can assist. We look forward to hearing from you!