As previously reported, earlier this month the Department of State released the May 2016 Visa Bulletin reflecting some movement for applicants in specific categories. In addition to the Dates for Filing and Application Final Action Dates charts, the May 2016 Visa Bulletin noted: “…there have been extremely high levels of Employment-based demand in most categories for cases filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for adjustment of status. If this sudden and unanticipated change in the demand pattern continues, it could impact final action dates in the coming months and possibly require corrective action in some.”
On April 21, 2016, USCIS released an update that for both family-sponsored filings and employment-based filings, the Application Final Action Dates chart must be used for May 2016. Previously, USCIS had indicated that the Dates for Filing chart was to be used for family-sponsored filings. It therefore appears that USCIS has seen high levels of demand for family-sponsored filings as well.
The applicable charts regarding eligibility for filing adjustment of status applications are copied below.
APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES
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*NOTE: For May, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 15AUG14. F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 15AUG14 and earlier than 01NOV14. (All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no F2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)
APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES
On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); “C” means current, i.e., numbers are authorized for issuance to all qualified applicants; and “U” means unauthorized, i.e., numbers are not authorized for issuance. (NOTE: Numbers are authorized for issuance only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.)
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*Employment Third Preference Other Workers Category: Section 203(e) of the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997, as amended by Section 1(e) of Pub. L. 105-139, provides that once the Employment Third Preference Other Worker (EW) cut-off date has reached the priority date of the latest EW petition approved prior to November 19, 1997, the 10,000 EW numbers available for a fiscal year are to be reduced by up to 5,000 annually beginning in the following fiscal year. This reduction is to be made for as long as necessary to offset adjustments under the NACARA program. Since the EW cut-off date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.