The State Department has released the July 2016 Visa Bulletin listing the priority dates eligible for “Application Final Action,” i.e. when an I-485 adjustment of status (AOS) application may be approved or an immigrant visa (IV) issued, and the priority dates eligible for “Filing Applications,” i.e. when an AOS or IV application may be filed.
Following the massive retrogression of the priority dates in June, there is some slight movement in the “Application Final Action Dates” for both the family and employment-based preference categories. Some of the priority dates in the family-based categories will advance from one to eight weeks, although there is no movement in the third preference (F3) for most countries and no movement in the fourth preference (F4) for China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines. In addition, there is no movement in the family-based categories for Mexico with the exception of a two week advance in the first preference (F1).
In the employment-based preference categories, there is no advance in the Final Action Dates for China. The EB-2 priority date for India will advance one month to November 1, 2004, and the EB-3 priority date will advance one month to October 22, 2004. The EB-3 priority date for all other countries will advance slightly, although the Philippines will see a jump ahead of over three months.
The news remains grim for the “Dates for Filing” as there is no movement at all in July in any category or for any country. As a reminder, the “Dates for Filing Applications” are valid only for consular processing immigrant visa applications. USCIS will make a separate determination whether to allow the filing of AOS applications under the “Dates for Filing” chart or the “Application Final Action Dates” chart in the visa bulletin and will post the applicable chart on its website. For July 2016, USCIS has determined that applicants must use the “Application Final Action Dates.”
Looking ahead, in a meeting with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and reporting Division at the Department of State, indicated that more priority date retrogressions are expected before September 2016, including the rare establishment of a cutoff date in the EB-2 “worldwide” category and a cutoff date in the EB-1 category for India and China.
You can view the visa bulletin in its entirety below. Please contact us with any questions.
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