Visa Bulletin for March 2016

The Department of State (DOS) released the monthly Visa Bulletin and below is a summary of green card Final Action Dates and Dates For Filing dates for employment-based immigrant visa categories for the month of March.

PLEASE NOTE: Per a new USCIS policy, a week after the Department of State (DOS) issues its monthly Visa Bulletin indicating immigrant visa availability for the next month, the USCIS will make its own separate determination on green card availability. If green cards are available for a certain category, the USCIS will post its own notice on its website at: www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo to alert immigrants applying in those categories with more availability, that they may use the Dates for Filing chart and not the Final Action Date chart. Thus immigrants may no longer rely on the DOS Visa Bulletin, but must wait one week after its publication and then look to the USCIS to see whether a green card is available to them.

Green Card "Dates for Filing" Availability Dates

Individuals with priority dates prior to the dates listed in the chart below are eligible to file their green card applications during the month of March.

Employment-
Based

All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed

CHINA-
mainland
born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

1st

Current

Current

Current

Current

Current

2nd

Current

01JUN13

01JUL09

Current

Current

3rd

Current

01MAY15

01JUL05

Current

01JAN10

Other Workers

Current

01AUG07

01JUL05

Current

01JAN10

4th

Current

Current

Current

Current

Current

Certain Religious
Workers

Current

Current

Current

Current

Current

5th Non-Regional
Center (C5 and T5)

Current

01MAY15

Current

Current

Current

5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)

Current

01MAY15

Current

Current

Current

 

Green Card Approval "Final Action Dates"

Individuals with priority dates prior to the dates listed in the chart below have a green card available to them during the month of March, therefore, the US government may take final action on their case.

Employment- Based

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA - mainland born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

1st

Current

Current

Current

Current

Current

2nd

Current

01AUG12

15OCT08

Current

Current

3rd

01JAN16

01JUN13

15JUL04

01JAN16

15MAR08

Other Workers

01JAN16

01FEB07

15JUL04

01JAN16

15MAR08

4th

Current

Current

Current

Current

Current

Certain Religious Workers

Current

Current

Current

Current

Current

5th
Targeted
Employment Areas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs

Current

22JAN14

Current

Current

Current

5th
Pilot
Programs

Current

22JAN14

Current

Current

Current

 

Below is a summary of changes from the visa bulletin for last month for Final Action Dates:
  • The EB-2 China category has advanced several months from March 1, 2012 to August 1, 2012.
  • The EB-2 India category has advanced two months from August 1, 2008 to October 15, 2008.
  • The EB-3 World and Mexico categories have advanced several months from October 1, 2015 to January 1, 2016.
  • The EB-3 China category advances significantly from October 1, 2012 to June 1, 2013.
  • The EB-3 India category advances one month from June 15, 2004 to July 15, 2004.
  • The EB-3 Philippines category advances several months from January 8, 2008 to March 15, 2008.
  • The EB-5 China advances a few days from January 15, 2014 to January 22, 2014.

Month-to-month availability of immigrant visas varies and depends on many factors. The entire Visa Bulletin can be viewed at: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2016/visa-bulletin-for-march-2016.html.