January 2016 Visa Bulletin Update

The Department of State issued its visa bulletin for January of 2016.  The following are the highlights in terms of movements forward and backwards of priority dates:

Family Based:

Final Action Dates:  For most of the world (including China and India), the dates moved forward in all categories by about 1 month (except spouses and children of Permanent Residents (F2A) which moved forward 2 months to August 14, 2014).  The Philippines and Mexico each moved forward around 1 month (or less) in all categories.

Dates for Filing:  For most of the world (again, including China and India) dates moved forward by about 3-4 months, with the F2A category moving to June 15, 2015.  F2A jumped about 6 months to December 15, 2010.  The Philippines and Mexico again moved forward only about 1 month (or less) in all categories.

Employment Based:

Final Action Dates:  EB-1 remained current for all countries.  EB-2 is current for all countries except China and India.  China remained at February 1, 2012.  India moved forward about 8 months to February 1, 2008.  For EB-3, world-wide numbers progressed about 1 month to October 1, 2015.  China progressed about 3 months to July 1, 2012.  India moved forward about 1 month to May 15, 2004 and the Philippines moved forward several months to November 1, 2007.

Dates for Filing:  These were the same in January as they were in December EXCEPT for one change, EB-3 Worldwide moved to January 1, 2016.


USCIS Reaction:

USCIS has agreed to use the Dates for Filing for family based application, so those whose priority date allows it can file their Adjustment of Status application based on those dates.

USCIS will NOT allow use of the Dates for Filing for Employment Based application.  They did not indicate why, or give any clue as to the issue. However, you can only file the adjustment application based upon the Final Action dates.

Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.


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