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Friday, August 22, 2014 4:05:16 PM
Charlie Oppenheim Offers His Projections For EB-3 Philippines – Track EB-3 For the Rest of the World


The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) DOS Liaison Committee has begun a series designed to keep members informed of Visa Bulletin progress and projections. Immediately following publication of each month’s Visa Bulletin, AILA will “check-in” with Charles (“Charlie”) Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, to obtain his analysis of current trends and future projections for the various immigrant preference categories. Mr. Oppenheim is responsible for setting the cut-off date for immigrant visa priority date movement each month.

For the month of September, 2014, Mr. Oppenheim offered the following comments regarding EB-3 Philippines:

Q: The EB-3 category for the Philippines has been catching up to the rest of the world rapidly. Can you share your predictions regarding the cut-off date for the end of this FY and into FY2015?

A: The September 2014 Visa Bulletin shows EB-3 Philippines consistent with the worldwide EB-3 cutoff date of April 21, 2011. There are two reasons for this. First, in earlier years, there was greater usage of visa numbers for EB-1 and EB-2 Philippines. Since that usage has decreased, there is greater fall-down of numbers to EB-3 Philippines. Second, there are fewer EB-3 Philippines beneficiaries who are coming forth as documentarily qualified.

When there is a greater availability of numbers relative to the demand, it accelerates the cut-off date movement to tap into beneficiaries who can use the visa numbers since the goal is to maximize number use within the applicable annual limit.

In terms of projections for next year, corrective action might be required if EB-1 and EB-2 usage were to increase or if demand for EB-3 numbers increases. Before that would happen, EB-3 Philippines would be held for a period of several months see if number use averages out to an acceptable level. If it became apparent that demand was not subsiding or was continuing to increase, it would be necessary to retrogress the date to hold number use within the annual limit.

At this point, my prediction is that EB-3 Philippines will probably tag along at the worldwide EB-3 cutoff date for the next several months.
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