The May 2016 Visa Bulletin is now in effect, 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 May, we see the pace of priority date advancement continue to slow as the Department tries to avoid regressing the dates over the balance of the year. The “Application Final Action Dates” will move forward slightly in most of the family-based preference categories, although the F4 category for siblings of U.S. citizens will not advance at all except for nationals of the Philippines. The State Department expects the F4 category priority dates for Indian nationals to retrogress, possible as early as June, and the F-4 priority date for Chinese nationals might also retrogress later in the summer. In addition, the “Dates for Filing” in the family-based categories again will remain stagnant in May, the fourth consecutive month with no movement.
In the employment-based preference categories, the pace of advancement is similarly slow in the “Application Final Action Dates.” EB-1 and EB-2 for most countries will remain current, but unlike past months there is little advancement elsewhere, as only EB-2 for Indian nationals and EB-3 for nationals of India and the Philippines advance at all. In addition, the EB-3 cutoff remains ahead of the EB-2 cutoff for nationals of China, but the Department has indicated that the expected increase in EB-3 demand by Chinese nationals likely will finally impact these dates in June.
Finally, there is again no advance at all in the “Dates for Filing” for employment-based cases, which continues to affect only nationals of India, China, and the Philippines since all categories are current for all other countries. 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. USCIS has determined that the “Final Action Dates” must be used for both family and employment-based filings in May.
You can view the visa bulletin in its entirety below. Please contact us with any questions.
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