In recent correspondence with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Mr. Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of the Department of State’s Visa Control and Reporting Division provides some explanations for the visa retrogression seen in the September 2015 Visa Bulletin, as well as predictions for visa movement in Fiscal Year 2016 (October, 2015 through September, 2016).
EB-2 China and India both retrogress significantly for September, 2015. Mr. Oppenheim attributes this to “skyrocketing” demand for EB-2 Worldwide visas. This leaves fewer visas available to spill-over to EB-2 China/India. Additionally, the EB-1 visa demand is up, which means there are fewer visas to spill-down to EB-2 China/India.
EB-2 China and India both retrogress to January 1, 2006 – backwards movement of almost eight years for EB-2 India and almost three years for EB-2 India. Mr. Oppenheim predicts that EB-2 India will advance to a date between February and April, 2005 when the new fiscal year starts in October 2015.
AILA also questioned Mr. Oppenheim on any developments within his office in response to the “Visa Modernization” component of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Mr. Oppenheim stated that it is still a “work in progress”, but that we should expect to see more aggressive cut-off date movement for some preference categories earlier in the fiscal year. However, such aggressive movement early in the year, typically means we will see the visas movement stop or even retrogress in those categories later in the year.