US Department of State has published the Visa Bulletin for November 2016. Most family-based categories advanced a few weeks from the October 2016 dates, but Mexico mainly advanced by just a few days
In the employment-based categories, the biggest changes were India 2nd preference advancing by almost 10 months, to November 1, 2007 (yes, that is still a nine-year wait for green cards for these highly-skilled professional workers).
Religious workers and some EB-5 investors saw their categories change from "Unavailable" in October to "Current" in November, which is good news.
DOS Visa Bulletins
Priority Date Checker Tool
The US Department of State has released the March 2016 Visa Bulletin, showing the new “Application Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications” (for information about the difference between these two relatively new distinctions, see here).
"Final Action Dates" changes
In family-based categories, there is very slight movement forward from the February dates, but just by a few days or weeks in most categories.
Employment-based categories remain "Current" for all 1st preference applicants, and for 2nd preference from Mexico, Philippines, and countries other than India and China. EB-2 for China moves forward by about 5 months, to August 1, 2012, and EB-2 for India advances by 10 weeks. EB-3 for China jumps forward by 9 months (to June 1, 2013), India advances by 1 month, Philippines by 2 months, and all other countries, including Mexico, advance by 3 months.
"Dates for Filing Applications" changes
There is no change in the filing dates in any of the family-based categories.
First preference: all current, as last month.
Second preference: China advances by 5 months. No other changes.
Third preference: China advances by 7 months, Mexico and ROW current.
Fourth preference and all other categories: no change.
For more information, please call Elaine Martin at 214-329-4148 or write to us.
March 2016 Visa Bulletin
February 2016 Visa Bulletin
USCIS and the Department of State (DOS) are making major changes to the monthly Visa Bulletin. Under the current system, a person cannot file an Adjustment of Status (or green card) application with USCIS until his/her priority date is reached or has passed according to the Visa Bulletin. The changes are as a result of executive actions announced by President Obama in November 2014.
The Department of State will now publish two family and two employment-based Visa Bulletin charts each month: (1) Application Final Action Dates (dates when visas may finally be issued); and (2) Dates for Filing Applications (earliest dates when applicants may be able to apply). This means that Adjustment of Status applications can be filed before the priority date is current. For example, the October Visa Bulletin shows that the priority date for EB-2 cases for Indian nationals is May 1, 2005. However, anyone with a prority date before July 1, 2011, can file the final step of permanent residence.
The earlier filing of the I-485 has several direct benefits for both employers and employees:
October Visa Bulletin
Visa Availability and Priority Dates
When to File Your Adjustment
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.