UPDATE: USCIS has announced that applicants must use the Application Final Action Dates chart in the June 2016 Visa Bulletin for both employment- and family-based filings.
The State Department has released the June 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.
The big story is the massive retrogression of the “Application Final Action Dates” in the employment-based preference categories for nationals of India and China. The EB-2 priority date for India will roll back over four years to October 1, 2004, although the EB-3 priority date will advance three weeks to September 22, 2004. The State Department expects both EB-2 and EB-3 for Indian nationals to advance slowly for the last three months of the fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the long-expected impact of the increased EB-3 demand for nationals of China due to EB-2 to EB-3 downgrades will finally arrive in June. Both the EB-2 and EB-3 categories for Chinese nationals will roll back to January 1, 2010, a retrogression of more than two-and-a-half years and three-and-a-half years, respectively. The State Department does not expect these categories to advance before the end of the fiscal year.
The “Application Final Action Dates” for all other countries will remain stuck at February 15, 2016, with the exception of EB-3 for the Philippines, which will advance nearly three months to November 1, 2008. There will be no advance in the “Dates for Filing” for employment-based cases (aside from the EB-3 “Other Worker” category for Chinese nationals), although this affects only nationals of India, China, and the Philippines since all categories are current for all other countries.
The family-based categories are not immune to retrogression. As predicted last month, the “Application Final Action Dates” in the fourth preference (F4) category for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens will move back to January 1, 2003, for Chinese nationals and to January 1, 2001, for Indian nationals. The State Department does not expect any further advancement in these categories for the rest of the fiscal year.
The rest of the “Application Final Action Dates” will hold or advance slightly as the as we approach the end of the fiscal year. The “Dates for Filing” in the family-based categories mostly will remain stagnant in June, but the second preference category for spouses and children of permanent residents (F2A) will advance four months to October 15, 2015, for all countries, and there will be some movement in the second preference category for unmarried sons and daughters of permanent residents (F2B) for nationals of Mexico and the Philippines.
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 June 2016 Visa Bulletin.
You can view the visa bulletin in its entirety below. Please contact us with any questions.
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