The DOS has issued its Visa Bulletin for December 2016. This bulletin determines who can apply for U.S. permanent residence and when. The cutoff dates for family-based immigration advanced slightly but continued to show backlogs due to the heavy demand for these visas. On the employment-based side, the December 2016 Visa Bulletin showed that the employment-based first preference (“EB-1”) remained current for all countries. The employment-based second preference (“EB-2”) remains current for all countries, except China and India. For China, the EB-2 category has reached September 22, 2012; for India, it has reached February 1, 2008. The cutoff dates for the employment-based third preference (“EB-3”) category are as follows: July 1, 2016, for all chargeability, including Mexico. The EB-3 cutoff date for China is July 1, 2013; for India, it is March 15, 2005; and for the Philippines, it is June 1, 2011. The DOS’s monthly Visa Bulletin is available at