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Department of State Releases October 2016 Visa Bulletin

Employment-based China and India First Preference and Worldwide Second Preference cutoff dates become “current” once again.

The US Department of State (DOS) has released its October 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority date cutoffs that regulate immigrant visa availability and the flow of adjustment of status and consular immigrant visa application filings and approvals.

What Does the October 2016 Visa Bulletin Say?

The October 2016 Visa Bulletin includes a Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart and an Application Final Action Dates chart. The former indicates when intending immigrants may file their applications for adjustment of status or immigrant visas, and the latter indicates when an adjustment of status application or immigrant visa application may be approved and permanent residence granted.

If the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determine that there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, it will state on its website that applicants may use the Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart. Otherwise, applicants should use the Application Final Action Dates chart to determine when they may file their adjustment of status applications. It is not yet clear which chart the USCIS will select for October 2016 filings. To be eligible to file an employment-based (EB) adjustment application in October 2016, foreign nationals must have a priority date that is earlier than the date listed below for their preference category and country (changes from last month’s Visa Bulletin dates are shown in yellow).

Application Final Action Dates

Application Final Action Days

EB

All Charge-

ability 

Areas Except

Those Listed

China

(mainland 

born)

El Salvador,
Guatemala,
and Honduras

India

Mexico

Philippines

1st

C

C (was 01JAN10)

C

C (was 01JAN10)

C

C

2nd

C (was 01FEB14)

15FEB12 (was 01JAN10)

C (was 01FEB14)

15JAN07 (was 22FEB05)

C (was 01FEB14)

C (was 01FEB14)

3rd

01JUN16 (was 01MAY16)

22JAN13 (was 01JAN10)

01JUN16 (was 15MAy16)

15MAR05 (was 15FEB05)

01JUN16 (was 15MAY16)

01DEC10 (was 01JULY10)

Other Workers

01JUN16 (was 15MAY16)

01JAN05 (was 01JAN10)

01JUN16 (was 01MAY16)

01MAR05
(was 15FEB05)

01JUN16 (was 15MAY16)

01DEC10
(was 01JUL10)

Dates for Filing Visa Applications

Application Filing Dates

EB

All Charge

ability 

Areas Except

Those Listed

China

(mainland 

born)

India

Mexico

Philippines

1st

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

01MAR13
(was 01JUN13)

22APR09
(was 01JUL09)

C

C

3rd

C

01MAY14 (was 01MAY15)

01JUL05

C

01SEP13
(was 01JAN13)

Other Workers

C

01AUG09

01JUL05

C

01SEP13
(was 01JAN13)

How This Affects You

On the Application Final Action Dates chart, the cutoff dates for EB-1 will once again be “current” for all chargeable countries, including India and China. EB-2 cutoff dates for the worldwide allotment, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Philippines will be “current” as well. Cutoff dates for EB-2 India and EB-2 China will advance by slightly more than two years (China to February 15, 2012 and India to January 15, 2007).

EB-3 final action cutoff dates for the worldwide allotment, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico will advance by one month to June 1, 2016. The final action cutoff date for EB-3 China will advance by more than three years to January 22, 2013. EB-3 India will advance by two weeks to March 1, 2005, and EB-3 Philippines will advance by five months to December 1, 2010. The EB-5 China cutoff date will remain unchanged at February 15, 2014.

The DOS confirmed that the EB-1 allotment should remain current in the coming months, the allotments for China should see modest advancement of three months, and the allotment for India will advance by up to four months. EB-1 allotments will return to “current” status for October. The EB-3 category may see retrogression in the worldwide classification with advancements of up to three months for EB-3 China and up to one week for EB-3 India.

Read the entire October 2016 Visa Bulletin.

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A James Vazquez-Azpiri, Morgan Lewis, employment attorney
Partner

A. James Vázquez-Azpiri counsels corporate clients on hiring and retaining foreign employees in his business immigration law practice. He advises businesses on labor certifications, specialty occupation petitions, and intracompany transfers. Clients rely on James for guidance through immigration law compliance during mergers, acquisitions, and corporate restructurings. He helps clients think and work proactively by providing them with traditional compliance policy reviews and audits, case management and litigation technology, and international executive travel and...

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