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Immigration Law Update: August 2016 Visa Bulletin

Published on July 14, 2016

The Department of State released the Visa Bulletin for August 2016, and it establishes cutoff dates in employment-based preference categories that typically remain current, including EB-1 India and China and EB-2 Worldwide. The cutoff dates for EB-1 India and China have been set at January 1, 2010, while the cutoff date for EB-2 Worldwide has been set at February 1, 2014.  According to the State Department, it was necessary to implement this retrogression given the high demand for immigrant visas in these categories.  We expect that these employment-based preference categories will become current again in October 2016, the first month of the 2017 fiscal year.

The final action cut-off date for China remains unchanged at January 1, 2010, and EB-2 India moves forward just two weeks, to November 15, 2004.

In the EB-3 category, final action cutoff dates for professionals, skilled workers and other workers will advance by two weeks for India, to November 8, 2004, by three months for the Philippines, to May 15, 2009, and by two weeks for all other countries except China, to March 15, 2016.  For China, there will be no forward movement in the EB-3 final action cutoff dates for professionals and skilled workers, which remains January 1, 2010, and the cutoff date for other workers remains unchanged at January 1, 2004.

The final action cutoff dates for EB-5 China, in both the Regional and non-Regional Center programs, will also remain unchanged at February 15, 2014.

What should we expect for the next few months?

The Department of State predicts that the January 1, 2010 cutoff date for both EB-2 and EB-3 China will continue to remain the same through September 2016. Additionally, it is predicted that EB-3 India may advance slightly in September, and EB-2 India will continue to track one week ahead of EB-3 India through September.  We anticipate that the cutoff dates under EB-2 Worldwide and EB-1 for India and China will become current again in October 2016.

To be eligible to file an employment-based adjustment application in August, employer-sponsored foreign nationals must have a priority date that is earlier than the date listed below for their preference category and country. USCIS continues to only accept employment-based adjustment of status applications from foreign nationals with a priority date that is current for the final action cutoff date.
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Marsha Mavunkel is an attorney in Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC’s Immigration Group and can be reached at 206.654.2253 or

This message has been released by the Immigration Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.

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