This week, the Department of State (DOS) has released the July 2016 Visa Bulletin. We are three months from the end of the fiscal year and the dwindling visa numbers remaining are likely to bring about tepid advancement in many employment-based categories before October. This Bulletin brings several particular items of note relating to the anticipated movement of final action dates:

  • For the first time in recent collective memory, the State Department is predicting that EB-1 (which is usually “Current”) will have a cutoff date “no later than September” for China and India, but becoming current again in October 2016. Worldwide is expected to remain Current through all relevant times.
  • In the EB-2 category, a date for Worldwide chargeability is likely to be “imposed by September” with a return to “current” in October. The State Department predicts that there will be no forward movement for China EB-2, and India EB-2 will only move one week beyond India EB-3.
  • Limited movement is predicted in EB-3, with the exceptions of India reaching early 2005 and Philippines reaching late 2009 or early 2010.
  • Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico face an EB-4 priority date of Jan. 1, 2010. Although this 6.5 year backlog may appear daunting, the State Department does caution the following:

Readers should be aware that the establishment of the Employment Fourth preference Final Action date of January 1, 2010 does not mean that applicants are now subject to a wait in excess of six years. That Final Action Date is intended only to stop any further use of numbers by applicants from those countries under the FY-2016 annual limit, not to indicate how long it will be before applicants will be eligible for final action.”

In October, Mexico EB-4 is projected to become current. El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are anticipated to have a 2015 cutoff date.

  • In the EB-5 realm, China has not advanced from June 2016. The “best case” scenario is a March 1, 2014, cutoff date by September.

For those seeking to adjust status, The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website indicates that the Application Final Action Dates chart must be used for filing Form I-485.

The July 2016 Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Applications are as follows:

Click here to view table.

Likewise, the July 2016 Dates for Filing are:

Click here to view table.