Employment-based adjustment of status applicants must file using the Application Final Action Dates chart.

The US Department of State (DOS) has released its February 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority date cutoffs that regulate immigrant visa availability and the flow of adjustment of status and consular immigrant visa application filings and approvals.

What Does the February 2016 Visa Bulletin Say?

The February 2016 Visa Bulletin includes both a Dates for Filing Visa Applications and Application Final Action Dates chart. The former indicates when intending immigrants may file their applications for adjustment of status or immigrant visa, and the latter indicates when an adjustment of status application or immigrant visa application may be approved and permanent residence granted.

If the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines that there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, it will state on its website that applicants may use the Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart. Otherwise, applicants should use the Application Final Action Dates chart to determine when they may file their adjustment of status applications. For February 2016, USCIS has announced that employment-based (EB) applicants may only use the Application Final Action Dates chart.

To be eligible to file an EB adjustment application in February, foreign nationals must have a priority date that is earlier than the date listed below for their preference category and country (changes from last month’s Visa Bulletin dates are shown in yellow):

Click here to view table.

How This Affects You

The largest change in the Application Final Action Dates chart is in the EB-2 India category, which has advanced by six months to August 1, 2008. The EB-2 China category advanced by one month only, and the EB-3 China category advanced by two and a half months to October 1, 2012. Certain Religious Workers and EB-5 matters (Regional Center I5 and R5) became current once again, with the exception of China, which is backlogged to January 15, 2014, in the EB-5 category. Other classification categories saw only minimal advancement of three weeks to three months. Read the entire February 2016 Visa Bulletin.