March 2016 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State released the March, 2016 visa bulletin earlier today.  Below I will go through both the family and employment based backlogs.  After reviewing the current backlogs I will discuss the projections by the DOS for further movement.

Family Based Backlogs

Final Action Dates:  Most categories saw little to no forward movement. The F1 category had the most movement – about 1 month to August 8, 2008 (worldwide).

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Dates for Filing:  There was no movement on this chart at all for family based cases:

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Employment Based Backlogs

Final Action Dates:  There is some better news employment wise.  For Worldwide numbers, EB-3 moved up to January 1, 2016, a jump of about 3 months.  For India and China EB-2 numbers, China moved forward about 5 months, while India only moved forward about 2 months.  China moved forward about 8 months in the EB-3 category and India moved forward about 1  month in the same category.

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 3.47.01 PM.png

Dates for Filing:  Worldwide is now current in every category.  China had good movement as well, moving ahead 5 months in EB-2 category to June 1, 2013 and moving forward about 1 year and 7 months in the EB-3 category to May 1, 2015.   Unfortunately, India did not have any movement on this chart.

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DOS Projections

For family-sponsored categories, the DOS sees the following possible forward movements on a monthly basis in the next several months:

Worldwide dates:

F1:    Three to five weeks
F2A:   Up to one month
F2B:   Up to three weeks
F3:     Up to four weeks
F4:     Three to four weeks

For employment-based categories, the potential monthly movement in the next couple of months is as follows:

Employment First:    should stay Current

Employment Second:

Worldwide: Current

China:        Up to five months.

India:         Up to three months.

Employment Third:

Worldwide: The rapid forward movement of this cut-off date during the
past ten months should generate a significant amount of
demand for numbers. When such demand begins to
materialize it will be necessary to limit movement of this
cut-off date.

China:        Up to five months.
India:         Up to one month.
Mexico:      Will remain at the worldwide date.
Philippines: Up to four months.

Employment Fourth:  Current for most countries

Employment Fifth:    The category will remain “Current” for most countries.

China-mainland born: Slow forward movement.

The DOS goes on to say:

The above projections for the Family and Employment categories indicate what is likely to happen on a monthly basis through June based on current applicant demand patterns. Readers should never assume that recent trends in cut-off date movements are guaranteed for the future, or that “corrective” action will not be required at some point in an effort to maintain number use within the applicable annual limits. The determination of the actual monthly cut-off dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables.

China appears to be clearing out its backlog much quicker than India at this point.  Unfortunately, since USCIS has just been allowing adjustment filings based upon the final action dates, we are really no closer to knowing what the potential backlogs for India are at this point of time.  Hopefully USCIS will change this policy and begin allowing employment based cases to file  based upon the Dates for Filing for this month.  As of yet, they have not made any decision in this regard.  We will update you as soon as this decision is made.

If you have any questions leave a comment below or send me an email.  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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