Visa Bulletin October 2016: EB-2 and EB-3 Priority Dates Advance For All Countries

The U.S. Department of State Visa Bulletin October 2016 shows advancement in EB-2 and EB-3 categories for all countries in the Application Final Action Dates chart. EB-1 China and EB-1 India have become Current again.

Significant changes were also seen in the Dates for Filing Applications chart for the employment based visa preference categories. EB-2 China, EB-2 India and EB-3 China priority dates have retrogressed, even as priority date for EB-3 Philippines advanced.

USCIS is yet to announce which chart may be used in October 2016 for filing applications for Adjustment of Status with USCIS. Unless USCIS indicates otherwise, applicants seeking to file for adjustment of status must follow the dates in the Application Final Action Dates chart to determine when they could file their adjustment of status applications.

October 2016 Visa Bulletin Highlights

The following are the key highlights in the Application Final Action Dates chart of October 2016 Visa Bulletin:

  • Priority date for EB-1 China and EB-1 India have become Current again. EB-1 Priority Workers Category remains Current for all countries.
  • Priority date for EB-2 China advanced from January 1, 2010 to February 15, 2012.
  • In the EB-2 Category for India, the cut-off date advanced from February 22, 2005 to January 15, 2007.
  • The EB-2 Category is Current for all countries other than India and China.
  • In the EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers Category, priority date for mainland China advanced from January 1, 2010 to January 22, 2013.
  • Priority date for EB-3 India advanced from February 15, 2005 to March 1, 2005.
  • The priority date for mainland China under the EB-3 Other Workers Category advanced from January 1, 2004 to January 1, 2005.
  • EB-3 Philippines advanced from July 1, 2010 to December 1, 2010.
  • In the EB-3 category, priority date advanced from May 1, 2016 to June 1, 2016 for all countries other than India, China, and Philippines.

The following are the key highlights in the Dates for Filing Applications chart of October 2016 Visa Bulletin:

  • Priority date for EB-2 China retrogressed from June 1, 2013 to March 1, 2013.
  • In the EB-2 Category for India, the cut-off date retrogressed from July 1, 2009 to April 22, 2009.
  • In the EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers Category, priority date for mainland China retrogressed from May 1, 2015 to May 1, 2014.
  • EB-3 Philippines advanced from January 1, 2013 to September 1, 2013.
  • Priority date for EB-5 China retrogressed from May 1, 2015 to June 15, 2014.

About Visa Bulletin

The Department of State (DOS) publishes two separate charts for the employment based and family based visa preference categories every month:

  1. Chart 1 – Application Final Action Dates; and
  2. Chart 2 – Dates for Filing Applications

The “Application Final Action Dates” chart prescribes the dates when visas can be issued to immigrant visa applicants. Immigrant visas will be authorized for issuance only for applicants whose priority date is on or before the cut-off dated listed in the “Application Final Action Dates” chart.

The “Dates for Filing Applications” chart prescribes the earliest dates that applicants may be able to apply for an immigrant visa. Applicants whose priority date is on or before the date listed in the “Dates for Filing Applications” chart will be eligible to assemble and submit the required documents to the National Visa Center (NVC).

USCIS will, each month, post the relevant DOS Visa Bulletin chart that applicants can use to determine when to file their Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Applicants whose priority date is on or before the date on the chart posted by USCIS may file their Adjustment of Status application. USCIS is yet to announce which chart may be used in October 2016 for filing applications for Adjustment of Status with USCIS.

Next Steps

Green Card applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date listed in the relevant Visa Bulletin charts are eligible to apply for Adjustment of Status or an immigrant visa.

Check out the latest visa bulletin for a complete listing of the current cut-off dates and availability of immigrant visa numbers.

Schedule a FREE Case Evaluation with our experienced immigration attorneys if you have any questions about your eligibility for filing an Adjustment of Status or an immigrant visa application.

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