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leonqiu
03-14-2007, 01:06 PM
Charles Oppenheim, Chief of Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division at the U.S. Department of State (DOS) was a guest speaker at a February 28, 2007 Washington D.C. Chapter meeting of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Mr. Oppenheim was kind enough to share his office’s visa number / Visa Bulletin expectations for 2007.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF RETROGRESSION

Mr. Oppenheim discussed the historical background that has led to the current retrogression situation. Retrogression is not something new or unfamiliar in immigration law, as long-time MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers may recall. For many, however, who may have become involved in the green card process since 2001, it is new and, of course, highly problematic. Employment-based (or EB) numbers were current from 2001 through 2005 due to a legislative "fix." This legislation authorized prior, unused immigrant visa numbers from several earlier years to be recaptured and put back into the immigration system. That quota of recaptured numbers was exhausted during Fiscal Year (FY) 2005. As a result, in FYs 2005, 2006 and 2007 we have witnessed severe backlogs in the EB3 categories for all countries and, starting in FY2006, in the EB2 categories for China and India.

PREDICTIONS FOR EB IMMIGRANT VISA NUMBERS

Employment-Based First Preference / EB1

Mr. Oppenheim stated that the employment-based first preference (EB1) category is expected to remain current for all countries of chargeability, including India and China. This is likely throughout the remainder of FY2007 (ending September 30, 2007).

Mr. Oppenheim explained what he referred to as the “trickling effect” of unused visa numbers between EB categories. This trickling effect has resulted in the EB1 category's having remained current. The numbers in the employment-based fourth preference (EB4) and employment-based fifth preference (EB5) categories that are unused are transferred up to the EB1 category. Without this trickling affect, the EB1 category would not remain current for India and China.

This also has an impact on EB2, as unused EB1 numbers trickle down to EB2. There are not enough numbers for India and China, however, to allow the EB2 for these two countries to become current. But it has helped to move EB2 forward for these two countries, to some extent.

Employment-Based Second Preference / EB2

The employment-based second preference (EB2) category is expected to remain at its current cutoff dates for nationals of India and China. These dates have been stagnant at April 22, 2005 for China and January 8, 2003 for India for a few months.

Employment-Based Third Preference / EB3

No forward movement is expected for the employment-based third preference (EB3) category. In fact, as predicted in the March Visa Bulletin and confirmed by Mr. Oppenheim, there is a strong possibility that the EB3 numbers that are not in the "worldwide" chargeability will further retrogress, or move backward. This is expected to occur in the summer of 2007. This backward movement is based upon excessive demand for the limited supply of visa numbers. This will adversely affect nationals of India and China.

Double Dipping

Another problem important to note is one of “doubling dipping” for visa numbers by some individuals. As explained by Mr. Oppenheim, if an employment-based beneficiary filed for adjustment of status in the U.S. and for consular processing overseas, that individual could acquire two visa numbers if both cases are approved. This would result in a wasted immigrant visa number. As a result of this scenario, the DOS and the USCIS are planning a system that would coordinate their visa number allocation, so that each will be aware if the other has already issued a visa number for a particular individual, to prevent waste of this kind.

CONCLUSION

We appreciate Mr. Oppenheim's continued willingness to address matters related to visa numbers and the Visa Bulletin. The lack of employment-based visa numbers is a source of great frustration for many and Mr. Oppenheim's predictions do not assuage that feeling. It is better to have an understanding of the reality of the situation, however, than to operate in ignorance or with unrealistic expectations. The shortage of visa numbers, once again, underscores the need for legislation in this area, to increase the numbers, change the counting of the numbers (from one per person to one per family), or to revamp the system entirely.

waitingGC
03-14-2007, 01:07 PM
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chanduv23
03-14-2007, 01:07 PM
Charles Oppenheim, Chief of Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division at the U.S. Department of State (DOS) was a guest speaker at a February 28, 2007 Washington D.C. Chapter meeting of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Mr. Oppenheim was kind enough to share his office’s visa number / Visa Bulletin expectations for 2007.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF RETROGRESSION

Mr. Oppenheim discussed the historical background that has led to the current retrogression situation. Retrogression is not something new or unfamiliar in immigration law, as long-time MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers may recall. For many, however, who may have become involved in the green card process since 2001, it is new and, of course, highly problematic. Employment-based (or EB) numbers were current from 2001 through 2005 due to a legislative "fix." This legislation authorized prior, unused immigrant visa numbers from several earlier years to be recaptured and put back into the immigration system. That quota of recaptured numbers was exhausted during Fiscal Year (FY) 2005. As a result, in FYs 2005, 2006 and 2007 we have witnessed severe backlogs in the EB3 categories for all countries and, starting in FY2006, in the EB2 categories for China and India.

PREDICTIONS FOR EB IMMIGRANT VISA NUMBERS

Employment-Based First Preference / EB1

Mr. Oppenheim stated that the employment-based first preference (EB1) category is expected to remain current for all countries of chargeability, including India and China. This is likely throughout the remainder of FY2007 (ending September 30, 2007).

Mr. Oppenheim explained what he referred to as the “trickling effect” of unused visa numbers between EB categories. This trickling effect has resulted in the EB1 category's having remained current. The numbers in the employment-based fourth preference (EB4) and employment-based fifth preference (EB5) categories that are unused are transferred up to the EB1 category. Without this trickling affect, the EB1 category would not remain current for India and China.

This also has an impact on EB2, as unused EB1 numbers trickle down to EB2. There are not enough numbers for India and China, however, to allow the EB2 for these two countries to become current. But it has helped to move EB2 forward for these two countries, to some extent.

Employment-Based Second Preference / EB2

The employment-based second preference (EB2) category is expected to remain at its current cutoff dates for nationals of India and China. These dates have been stagnant at April 22, 2005 for China and January 8, 2003 for India for a few months.

Employment-Based Third Preference / EB3

No forward movement is expected for the employment-based third preference (EB3) category. In fact, as predicted in the March Visa Bulletin and confirmed by Mr. Oppenheim, there is a strong possibility that the EB3 numbers that are not in the "worldwide" chargeability will further retrogress, or move backward. This is expected to occur in the summer of 2007. This backward movement is based upon excessive demand for the limited supply of visa numbers. This will adversely affect nationals of India and China.

Double Dipping

Another problem important to note is one of “doubling dipping” for visa numbers by some individuals. As explained by Mr. Oppenheim, if an employment-based beneficiary filed for adjustment of status in the U.S. and for consular processing overseas, that individual could acquire two visa numbers if both cases are approved. This would result in a wasted immigrant visa number. As a result of this scenario, the DOS and the USCIS are planning a system that would coordinate their visa number allocation, so that each will be aware if the other has already issued a visa number for a particular individual, to prevent waste of this kind.

CONCLUSION

We appreciate Mr. Oppenheim's continued willingness to address matters related to visa numbers and the Visa Bulletin. The lack of employment-based visa numbers is a source of great frustration for many and Mr. Oppenheim's predictions do not assuage that feeling. It is better to have an understanding of the reality of the situation, however, than to operate in ignorance or with unrealistic expectations. The shortage of visa numbers, once again, underscores the need for legislation in this area, to increase the numbers, change the counting of the numbers (from one per person to one per family), or to revamp the system entirely.

This trickling effect was already discussed. It is from murthy.com .