Wednesday, June 21, 2017


The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin guru, Charlie Oppenheim, hosts monthly meetings with the American Immigration Lawyers Association.  Charlie Oppenheim is the Department of State’s Chief of the Control and Reporting Division. He is the officer who is responsible for producing the Visa Bulletin each month.

This month’s Check In With Charlie featured predictions about EB2 and EB3, which are the most popular categories for readers of this Blog.  Here are some of this month’s highlights:

Philippine EB-3:  Charlie expects to aggressively move this category into mid/late 2015 before the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2017).  MU Law believes that the category will continue to be positive, although we do not expect that the significant progression will continue once the Visa Bulletin after the fiscal year, because demand for Philippine EB-3 was heavy in 2016.  Having said that, we do expect continued steady movement forward.

Worldwide EB-3:  This category should continue to be effectively current, with a retrogression of only a few weeks/months.

India EB-2:  Charlie expects minimal movement forward.  Charlie claims that 40 percent of the India EB-2 demand is from India EB-3 upgrades.

India EB-3.  This number will be aggressive advanced because Worldwide EB-3 demand has slowed.  As a matter of process, unused Worldwide EB-3 numbers spill into the slowest EB-3 category (India).

Friday, June 9, 2017


The Department of State has just issued the June 2017 Visa Bulletin.  This is the ninth Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2017.  This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.

July 2017 Visa Bulletin

Final Action Dates

Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card).

All Other  


MU Law Analysis

All Other:  The EB-2 has been current for many years.  The EB-3 progression continues to be effectively current.

China (mainland-born):   The DOS instituted a retrogression for China EB-1 with the June Visa Bulletin.  The continued high level of demand for EB-1 numbers for USCIS adjustment of status applicants has required the establishment of a date for June. It is expected that this EB-1 retrogression will last until October 2017. 

The China EB-2 date again moved up, but only a few weeks.  The DOS notes that there has been an extremely large increase in EB-3s during the past month. The China EB-3 date retrogressed.  It is now slower than China EB-2. This was predicted last month.

India:  As with China, India EB-1 now is retrogressed.  It is expected that this EB-1 retrogression will last until October 2017. 

EB-2 India moved up about two weeks.  EB-3 India jumped into 2006, which is a pleasant surprise.  It is not what we expected.  The DOS is clearly trying to ensure that all visa numbers are used in FY2016. 

Mexico: Mirrors All Other in all aspects.

Philippines: EB-3 moved ahead one full year!  The Philippine EB-3 number essentially cleaned out all of the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and half of 2014 EB-3 visas in about 7 months.  This is even more positive than we expected.  (Our note from September 2016"This is consistent with internal MU Law analysis which sees this category progressing into 2013 by the Summer of 2017.").  

Our internal metrics see the Philippine EB-3 number continuing to progress at a rapid clip for the rest of 2017.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


On June 6, 2017 US Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, announced new Department of Labor (DOL) actions to enforce work visa programs.  This announcement was made in support of President Trump’s Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American.

The Secretary’s actions are outlined in a news release issued by the DOL. Secretary Acosta has determined it is the policy of the DOL to vigorously and actively enforce laws governing visa programs.  The DOL actions for enforcement include:
  • The DOL Wage and Hour Division will conduct more civil investigations and site visits.
  • The DOL Employment and Training Administration will develop and propose changes to the LCA (Labor Condition Application) as well as other forms to better identify violations and fraud.  Among other things, the DOL will be looking at how to better monitor LCA filings for violations and prevent fraud with regard to the:
    • exemptions for H-1B dependent employers where the employee has a master’s degree or greater or makes $60,000/year or more;
    • the rate of pay listed on the LCA; and
    • the worksite location(s) listed on the LCA.
  • The DOL will actively coordinate with and refer cases to the Inspector General and Attorney General in cases of criminal fraud, which is outside the DOL’s jurisdiction.
  • There will be additional training of DOL Officers to detect civil and criminal fraud.
  • The DOL will continue to work with the US Department of Justice and US Department of Homeland Security to investigate, detect, and prevent fraud in all visa programs.
The DOL Office of the Inspector General has posted some recent cases on its website.

Friday, June 2, 2017


Are you an immigration attorney who is going to the AILA Annual Conference in New Orleans?  If so, and if you do not have plans on Thursday evening, please join us for dinner.

For the last several years a group of AILA lawyers who practice in healthcare have gotten together for a dinner on the Thursday of AILA Annual week. Most years we have about 15-20 people attend. Every year a few new people join the group.

It is a great chance to catch up with old friends (and new ones!). It is a casual event. If you are an AILA attorney who is interested in attending this year’s dinner, please let me know how many will be attending from your group by June 16. Friends, spouses, etc. are also welcome.