This week, the Department of State released the Visa Bulletin for October 2016.
Unfortunately, the expected movement as the U.S. government begins a new fiscal year did not materialize for the EB-5 visa category. The date for final action for the EB-5 visa category for mainland China born applicants advanced only one week from Feb. 15, 2014, in September, to Feb. 22, 2014, in October. Furthermore, the filing date chart retrogressed by over a year, retreating from May 2015 in September to June 2014 in October. Many in the EB-5 industry had been hoping for significant advancement. Lastly, due to the sunset of the EB-5 Regional Center Program on Sept. 30, 2016, the corresponding sections of the visa bulletin are listed as “U” for “unavailable.” Those sections will automatically become current without any changes to the posted visa bulletin if the laws authorizing the EB-5 Regional Center Program are extended.
EB-1 AND EB-2
With respect to the other visa categories, there was positive movement. The EB-1 category for mainland born China and Indians is now current, a significant jump of over six years from the September 2016 bulletin. Furthermore, the worldwide EB-2 category moved to current and the mainland born China and India categories moved forward approximately two years. The India category for EB-2 has now moved approximately three years in the past few months, which is surely welcome news for those individuals.
In the EB-3 category, the cutoff date for worldwide chargeability, as well as El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico moved forward a month from May 2016 to June 2016. There was further welcome news for mainland born China as the EB-3 category moved forward three years from January 2010 to January 2013. Unfortunately, this positive movement in the EB-3 category did not extend as far for India, as the EB-3 category for India only moved forward by two weeks from Feb. 15, 2005, to March 1, 2005.
With regard to those seeking to file applications for adjustment of status, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) website indicates that the “Final Action Dates” chart for employment-based applications must be used in determining when an applicant is eligible to file Form I-485. It is expected that within the next few days USCIS will announce whether or not this chart can be used.
Please see below for the employment-based category Final Action Dates and Filings Date charts:
FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES
DATES FOR FILING OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISA APPLICATIONS