LawFlash

Department of State Releases June 2016 Visa Bulletin

May 11, 2016

The bulletin shows significant retrogression in EB-2 for China and India and EB-3 China.

The US Department of State (DOS) has released its June 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 June 2016 Visa Bulletin Say?

The June 2016 Visa Bulletin includes both a Dates for Filing Visa Applications and Application Final Action Dates chart. The former indicates when intending immigrants may file their applications for adjustment of status or immigrant visa, 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) determines 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 anticipated that for June 2016, USCIS will announce that employment-based (EB) applicants must use the Application Final Action Dates chart.

Application Final Action Dates

To be eligible to file an EB adjustment application in June 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):

EB

All Charge-
ability 
Areas Except
Those Listed

China
(mainland 
born)

El Salvador,
Guatemala,
and Honduras

India

Mexico

Philippines

1st

C

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

01JAN2010

(was 01SEP12)

C

01OCT04

(was 22NOV08)

C

C

3rd

15FEB16

01JAN2010

(was 15AUG13)

15FEB16

22SEP2004

(was 01SEP04)

15FEB16

01Nov08

(was 8AUG08)

Other Workers

15FEB16

22APR07

15FEB16

22SEP04

(was 01SEP04)

15FEB16

01Nov08

(was 8AUG08)

4th

C

C

01JAN10

C

C

C

Certain Religious Workers

C

C

01JAN10

C

C

C

5th
Nonregional
Center
(C5 and T5)

C

15FEB14

(was 08FEB14)

C

C

C

C

5th
Regional
Center
(I5 and R5)

C

15FEB14

(was 08FEB14)

C

C

C

C

How This Affects You

Priority dates for EB-2 China retrogressed by 20 months (two years and eight months), and priority dates for EB-2 India retrogressed by 44 months (three years and eight months). EB-3 China also retrogressed by 44 months. Most other categories saw a relatively minor advancement of one week to three months. The final action cutoff date for EB-5 China will advance by one week to February 15, 2014. Final action cutoff dates will advance by three weeks for EB-3 India to September 22, 2004, and by nearly three months for EB-3 Philippines to November 1, 2008. Priority date cutoffs for EB-3 for all other countries will not change.

USCIS confirmed that, as previously announced in the May 2016 Visa Bulletin, retrogression for India EB-2 and China EB-2 and EB-3 classification is because of extremely high levels of EB demand for adjustment of status cases. India EB-2 may see a slow advancement, but neither the China EB-2 nor the China EB-3 date is expected to advance prior to the end of the fiscal year. Read the entire June 2016 Visa Bulletin.

Contacts

For more information, or if you have any questions regarding the issues discussed in this Immigration Alert, please contact any of the following lawyers:

Washington, DC
Eleanor Pelta
Eric S. Bord

San Francisco
A. James Vázquez-Azpiri

Boston
Lisa Stephanian Burton

London
Tracy Evlogidis