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News & Events: Immigration Update

Business Immigration Weekly for December 11, 2015

12.11.15
Practices: Immigration

January 2016 Visa Bulletin Update

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 for employment-based immigrant visa categories for the month of January.

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"

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 January.

Employment-
Based

All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed

CHINA-
mainland
born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

1st

Current

Current

Current

Current

Current

2nd

Current

01JAN13

01JUL09

Current

Current

3rd

01JAN16

01OCT13

01JUL05

01JAN16

01JAN10

Other Workers

01JAN16

01JAN07

01JUL05

01JAN16

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 January, 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

01FEB12

01FEB08

Current

Current

3rd

01OCT15

01JUL12

15MAY04

01OCT15

01NOV07

Other Workers

01OCT15

01DEC06

15MAY04

01OCT15

01NOV07

4th

Current

Current

Current

Current

Current

Certain Religious Workers

Unauthorized

Unauthorized

Unauthorized

Unauthorized

Unauthorized

5th
Non-Regional
Center
(C5 and T5)

Current

08JAN14

Current

Current

Current

5th
Regional
Center
(I5 and R5)

Unauthorized

Unauthorized

Unauthorized

Unauthorized

Unauthorized

 

Below is a summary of changes from the Visa Bulletin for last month for Final Action Dates:

  • The EB-2 China category remains stalled at February 1, 2012
  • The EB-2 India category has advanced from June 1, 2007 to February 1, 2008
  • The EB-3 World and Mexico categories advance from September 1, 2015 to October 1, 2015
  • The EB-3 China category advances several months from April 15, 2012 to July 1, 2012
  • The EB-3 India category advances several weeks from April 22, 2004 to May 15, 2004
  • The EB-3 Philippines category advances several months from August 1, 2007 to November 1, 2007
  • The EB-5 China (Non-Regional Center) advances slightly from December 15, 2013 to January 8, 2014
  • The EB-5 China (Regional Center) has become unavailable *pending congressional extension*

Month-to-month availability of immigrant visas varies and depends on many factors. These forecasts do not guarantee future availability. If you have any questions regarding the Visa Bulletin, contact Esther Contreras at 847-734-8811 or econtreras@masudafunai.com.

©2018 Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. All rights reserved. This publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended solely for informational purposes and you should not act or rely upon information contained herein without consulting a lawyer for advice. This publication may constitute Advertising Material.