Last week, the U.S. Department of State released its Visa Bulletin for October 2016. This Visa Bulletin includes “Application Final Action Dates” charts and “Dates for Filing Applications” charts for the family- and employment-based categories, and is the first Visa Bulletin to be released for Fiscal Year 2017. To view the Visa Bulletin, please click here.
Of consequence, the “Application Final Action Dates” for the EB-2 and EB-3 preference categories for India are now January 15, 2007 and March 1, 2005, respectively. For China, they are now February 15, 2012 and January 22, 2013, respectively.
If USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, it will notify the public on its website that the “Dates for Filing Applications” chart may be used. Otherwise, USCIS will indicate on its website that you must use the “Application Final Action Dates” chart to determine when you may file your adjustment of status application. The site may be viewed by clicking here.
In its monthly check-in with the U.S. Department of State in September 2016, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) learned that U.S. Department of State hopes to keep the final action dates for EB-2 and EB-3 China as close to one another as possible. In addition, the U.S. Department of State expects that the EB-2 India category will advance at a pace of up to four months at a time. Slower movements of up to a week at a time are anticipated for EB-3 India. Number usage for EB-3 India is expected to be high in October, and that will decrease the amount of numbers that can be allocated in November and December, therefore slowing advancement of the EB-3 India category.