The State Department has released the March 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.
In March, the “Application Final Action Dates” will move forward in most categories. In the family-based preference categories, again with the exception of the F2B and F4 categories for nationals of Mexico, the “Application Final Action Dates” will advance at least one week in each category, with the largest advancement being five months (November 1, 2003 to April 1, 2004) in the first preference (F1) for nationals of the Philippines.
However, the “Dates for Filing” in the family-based categories will remain stagnant in March, the second consecutive month with no movement.
In the employment-based preference categories, there will be continued movement in the “Application Final Action Dates.” The EB-3 category again will again advance across the board from a few weeks to up to several months, highlighted by an eight-month jump to June 1, 2013, in EB-3 for nationals of China. This continues the rare situation in which the EB-3 cutoff is ahead of the EB-2 cutoff (August 1, 2012) for nationals of China. The State Department continues to expect many Chinese nationals to take advantage of this by filing new I-140 petitions to “downgrade” to the EB-3 category, but so far, this additional EB-3 demand does not seem to have materialized.
Finally, the “Dates for Filing” will advance for all except for nationals of India and the Philippines. The EB-2 filing date for nationals of China will advance six months to June 1, 2013, while the EB-3 filing date will advance 19 months to May 1, 2015. The EB-3 “date for filing” for all other countries not listed separately will become current.
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 in the visa bulletin. If so, USCIS will post the current “Dates for Filing Applications” charts on its website. At the time of this post, USCIS has not made any determination with regard to the March 2016 Visa Bulletin.
You can view the visa bulletin in its entirety below. Please contact us with any questions.
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