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Changing Visa Bulletin Could Save Immigrants And H-1B Visa Holders

September 06, 2023 (1 min read)

Stuart Anderson, Forbes, Sept. 6, 2023

"The current legal immigration system does not benefit the United States, according to immigration attorney Cyrus Mehta. He proposes advancing the dates in the State Department Visa Bulletin to provide relief for individuals waiting in family and employment-based backlogs, arguing that would help America retain talent it would otherwise lose. Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN) and more than 50 other members of Congress wrote a letter advocating this reform.

Charlie Oppenheim, who oversaw the monthly publication of the Visa Bulletin, disagrees with Mehta on making the Application Filing Dates current but supports him proposing the idea to encourage the State Department to examine all options. (Read an interview here.) Oppenheim (now with WR Immigration) thinks an Application Filing Date should only be listed as “current” if both the current level of qualified demand and the resulting demand from new filings is not expected to be greater than the applicable annual limit available during the next twelve months or so.

Mehta believes the State Department “has never meant that visas were actually available to be issued to applicants as soon as they filed. Rather, it has always been based on a notion of visa availability at some point of time in the future.”

I interviewed Cyrus Mehta, who replied in writing, to understand better how changing the dates in the Visa Bulletin would affect family and employment-based immigrants. ... "