News & Updates

October 2016 US Visa Bulletin Movements

2016-10-05
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This is the analysis of the current trends and the future projections for the several immigrant preference categories for October 2016 (beginning of the fiscal year)

The recently published monthly visa bulletin (for the month of October) has been received well by many employees who have been waiting for the priority dates in order to apply for lawful permanent resident status.

PREFERENCE ALLOCATION FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED IMMIGRANTS

EB-1 (The first-priority employment-based preference category)

In the month of October 2016, the EB-1final action date (FAD) for all returned to current. Because of the short imposition of final action date in China and India, it is projected that there will be a high use in October 2016. EB-1 category is expected to continue being current for all countries (including India and China)for the predicted future.

The U.S. Department of Statewillmonitor the EB-1 India and Chinacarefully during the 2nd half of the fiscal year if demand for the EB-1 is stillhigh.

EB-2 (The second-priority employment-based preference category)

The second-priority employment-based preference category (EB-2) worldwide has become current in October except for India and China. The U.S. Department of State projects that theEB-2 (The second-priority employment-based preference category)will remain current for these countries through the first half of the fiscal year. Although the EB-2 lags behind the EB-3 in recent months, this is no longer so for all chargeability areas except China.

In addition, the final action datefor EB-2 petitions charged to India has progressed from February 22, 2005 to January 15, 2007. This is nearly by nearly two years. This is more recent than EB-3 India’s final action dateof March 1, 2005.

Whereas EB-2 China’s FADhas also moved forward by just over two years - from January 1, 2010 to February 15, 2012. Even so, this remains just overa year behind final action date for EB-3 Chinaof January 22, 2013.  Because of this, Chinese-born employees who wish to apply for green cards should consider downgrading to EB-3 to apply for the green card sooner                                                                        

EB-3 (The third-priority employment-based preference category)

This category had an overall forward movement in October 2016. EB-3China’s FAD has moved forward by three years - from January 1, 2010 to January 22, 2013. The Philippines also saw a significant jump from July 1, 2010 to December 1, 2010.

Whereas EB-3 India’s FAD hada much slower forward movementof14 days -from February 15, 2005 to March 1, 2005. The U.S. Department of State projects that the final action date for EB-3 India will continue to advance slowly over the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, thepriority date for all other countries has moved forward just one month - from May 1, 2016 to June 1, 2016.

EB-4 and Certain Religious Worker (SR) Preference Categories

The final action dates for EB-4 India and EB-4 Mexico is current in October andwill remain current until at least late spring/early summer 2017.

EB-4 and Certain Religious Worker (SR) Preference Categories

The final action dates for EB-4 India and EB-4 Mexico is current in October and will remain current until at least late spring/early summer 2017.

EB-4 El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras final action date moved January 1, 2010 to a June 15, 2015, and all other countries’ EB-4 is current.

Final action date for EB-4 religious workers is unavailable (U) in October.

PREFERENCE ALLOCATION FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED IMMIGRANTS

F-1

In October 2016, final action date for F-1 worldwide and F-1China moved from September 15, 2009 to September 22, 2009.

While F-1 Mexicomoved a few days from March 22, 1995 to April 01, 1995. The final action date of F-1Philippines moved a month from July 1, 2005 to August 1, 2005. The final action date for F-1India has progressed from September 15, 2009 to September 22, 2009.

F-2A

The final action date for F-2AChina and f24 worldwide moved from November 15, 2014 to December 22, 2014 in the month of October. Also final action date for F-2AMexico moved from September1, 2014 to December 1, 2014. The U.S. Department of State projects F-2A Mexico to drop behind the rest of the world’s final action dates during the fiscal year.

The final action date for F-2APhilippines and Indiamoved just over a month from November 15, 2014 to December 22, 14.

F-2B

Both the final action dates of F-2B Mexico and F-2B Philippines did not move much. The final action date of F-2BMexicofor October is October 1, 1995 from the previous September 15, 1995. While the final action date for F-2BPhilippines moved from December 1, 2005 to January 1, 2006.

The final action date for F-2BChina and the all other countries moved from February 1, 2010 to March 15, 2010.

F-3

The final action datefor F-3 India has progressed from December 1, 2004 to December 22, 2004. In addition, F-3Philippines moved fromJune 15, 1994to July 8, 1994. TheF-3Mexicoprogressed just a few days - from November 15, 1994 to November 22, 1994. The final action date for F-3Chinahas also moved forward by a couple of days - from December 1, 2004 to December 22, 2004.

Also, final action date for F-3 worldwide moved forward from December 1, 2004 to December 22, 2004.

F4

The final action date for F4 Mexicohad a slow movement of just a few dates – from April 22, 1997 to May 1, 1997. While the final action date for F4 Philippines moved from March 1, 1993 to April 15, 1993.

In addition, the final action datefor F4 charged to India has advanced from January 1, 2001 to December 1, 2002 and will fall behind the final action date for F4 worldwide for the foreseeable future.

Whilefinal action date for F4 China has also moved by just a few months - from January 1, 2003 to May 1, 2003.

Finally, the final action date for F4All Chargeability Areas except those mentioned moved from October 8, 2003 to November 1, 2003.

The Visa Bulletin and its effects on immigrants

The Visa Bulletin is a monthly statement published by the United States Department of State that summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers and updates the movement of immigrant visa cut-off dates each month. The main function of the bulletin is to provide immigrants that are affected by the ‘quota’ system with the updated waiting list known as the Priority Date(Final Action Date). This determines visa availability for immigrants waiting to file for employment-based or family-sponsored preference adjustment of status thus qualifying them to undertake the final steps in the process of becoming U.S. permanent residents.The Visa Bulletin is made available online.

Most immigrants seeking to enter the U.S. do so through sponsorship either by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident relatives or through employment or investment aims. These U.S. immigrant visas are limited by numerical ("quota") restrictions. This is based on the immigrants’ country of birth and the preference category. The month visa bulletins are based on projections that take into account previous immigration figures and statistic. With this data, the USCIS, in coordination with U.S. Department of State project the number of immigrants, that needs a waiting list and this information is used in the publication of the visa bulletin.

The visa bulletin priority dates is broken down into the following categories

  • Preference Allocation for Family-sponsored immigrants
  • Preference Allocation for Employment-based immigrants
  • Diversity immigrants

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