February 2016 Visa Bulletin: EB2 India Advances Again14 Jan 2016
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) February 2016 Visa Bulletin was issued on January 8, 2016. This latest visa bulletin provides advancement of the final action (FA) cutoff date in the employment-based, second preference category for India, consistent with earlier predictions. Meanwhile, the date of filing (DF) cutoff date chart is unchanged in the employment-based categories.
Summary of the February Visa Bulletin’s EB Categories
Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)
The EB2 category, as expected, remains current in the FA charts, with the exception of India and China. India’s FA cutoff date advances by six months, to August 1, 2008. China’s FA cutoff date in EB2 moves forward by a month, to March 1, 2012.
Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)
The EB3 worldwide category in the FA chart, as well as EB3 Mexico, remains unchanged, at October 1, 2015. EB3 India advances by a month, to June 15, 2004. EB3 China sees a three-month advancement, to October 1, 2012. The Philippines FA cutoff date moves forward by just over two months, to January 8, 2008.
Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Other Workers
As is usually the case, the cutoff dates for EB3 other workers match the general EB3 cutoff dates, with the exception of China. China’s EB3 other worker FA cutoff date advances slightly, to December 22, 2006.
Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5)
The EB5 category is current throughout, with the exception of China. China’s DF cutoff date advances by a few days, to January 15, 2014.
Use of DF Chart Again Restricted to Family-Based Cases
For February 2016, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) again is limiting the use of the cutoff dates in the DF chart as a basis for filing an application to adjust status (form I-485) to family-based cases. Those with employment-based cases will have to rely on the less favorable dates in the FA chart.
The continued advancement in EB2 India, while favorable, still is not enough to help the enormous numbers of foreign national workers enduring the long march to becoming lawful permanent residents of the United States. Of course, it is still fairly early in fiscal year 2016, so it is hoped that there will be meaningful advancement of cutoff dates in the backlogged categories as the year progresses.
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