July sees minor advancements in EB-3 categories following a retrogression in June.

The US Department of State (DOS) has released its July 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 JULY 2016 VISA BULLETIN SAY?

The July 2016 Visa Bulletin includes both a Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart and an Application Final Action Dates chart. The former indicates when intending immigrants may file their applications for adjustment of status or immigrant visas, 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.

APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES

USCIS will continue to use the Application Final Action Dates chart. To be eligible to file an EB adjustment application in July 2016, 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):

EB

All Charge-
ability
Areas Except
Those Listed

China
(mainland
born)

El Salvador,
Guatemala,
and Honduras

India

Mexico

Philippines

1st

C

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

01JAN2010

C

01NOV04

(was 01OCT04)

C

C

3rd

01MAR16 (was 15FEB16)

01JAN2010

01MAR16 (was 15FEB16)

22OCT04

(was 22SEP04)

01MAR16 (was 15FEB16)

15FEB09 (was 01NOV08)

Other Workers

01MAR16 (was 15FEB16)

01JAN04 (was 22APR07)

01MAR16 (was 15FEB16)

22OCT04

(was 22SEP04)

01MAR16 (was 15FEB16)

15FEB09 (was 01Nov08)

DATES FOR FILING VISA APPLICATIONS

EB

All Charge-
ability
Areas Except
Those Listed

China
(mainland
born)

India

Mexico

Philippines

1st

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

01JUN13

01JUL09

C

C

3rd

C

01MAY15

01JUL05

C

01JAN10

Other Workers

C

01AUG09

01JUL05)

C

01JAN10

HOW THIS AFFECTS YOU

As USCIS will continue to use the Application Final Action Dates chart, the cutoff dates for EB-3 China Other Workers will retrogress by 39.5 months (three years and three and a half months). Most other categories saw a relatively minor advancement. The final action cutoff date for EB-2 China will stay at January 1, 2010, and the EB-5 China cutoff date will remain unchanged at February 15, 2014. Final action cutoff dates will advance by one month for EB-3 India to October 22, 2004, and by four and a half months for EB-3 Philippines to February 15, 2009. Final action dates for the worldwide allotment, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico will advance by two weeks to March 1, 2016.

The DOS confirmed that EB-1 allotments will retrogress for China and India no later than September but will return to “current” status for October and that the worldwide allotment will likely retrogress as well by September. No forward movement is anticipated for EB-2 or EB-3 China. The USCIS indicated that the EB-3 allotment for India will likely advance to early 2005 by September. Read the entire July 2016 Visa Bulletin.