The Department of State (DOS) has issued its final September 2016 Visa Bulletin for Fiscal Year 2016.  Fiscal Year 2017 begins with the October 2017 Visa Bulletin where some categories will return to their “current status.”

For the September 2016 Visa Bulletin, as expected during the end of each fiscal year, there is very little movement in most of the categories. However, for the EB-2 India category (Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability) there is an advancement of three months and eight days. For EB-3 Worldwide, there is an advancement of one month and sixteen days, while EB-3 Philippines significantly advanced by one year, one month, and two weeks.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will only accept cases for the following:

EB-1-Worldwide:            Priority date is current except:

India and China:            Priority date of January 1, 2010,

No advancement.

EB-2-Worldwide:            Priority date of February 1, 2014 except:

No advancement.

India:                                 Priority date of February 22, 2005,

Advancement of 3 months and 8 days.

China:                               Priority date of January 1, 2010,

No advancement.

EB-3-Worldwide:            Priority date of May 1, 2016, except:

                                         Advancement of 1 month and 16 days.

 India:                              Priority date of February 15, 2005,

Advancement of 3 months and 8 days.

China:                                Priority date of January 1, 2010,

No advancement.

Philippines:                   Priority date of July 1, 2010,

Advancement: 1 year, 1 month, and two weeks.

Monthly Check-In with Charlie, Chief of Visa Control:

(Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of Visa Control and Reporting Division for the U.S. Department of State (DOS), is responsible for analyzing and predicting visa availability for the various immigrant categories.)

Charlie predicts that the EB1 India and China will return to being current in October 2016, however, there is the possibility that it will not be reflected until the November 2016 Visa Bulletin is issued.

The good news is that Charlie predicts that the EB2 worldwide category will return to being current in October 2016.  However, although there will be improvement for the cutoff dates for EB2 India and China in October 2016, the return of the cutoff dates prior to when the retrogression began will not possibly occur until later in Fiscal Year 2017.

As for the EB3 worldwide cutoff dates, which includes El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, Charlie predicts that in October 2016, it will remain at a close-to-current status.

NOTE: The USCIS will only accept employment-based adjustment of status applications from foreign nationals with a priority date that is current for final action (not Dates for Filing).

Please contact SW Law Group if you have any further questions regarding these developments.