Overview of March Visa Bulletin, Including Short-Term Predictions

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) March 2016 Visa Bulletin shows further advancement in the employment-based, third preference (EB3) worldwide category. The final action (FA) cutoff date in the employment-based, second preference category for India also advances, but at a slower pace than in recent months. This latest visa bulletin includes predictions for cutoff date movement through June 2016, as well.

Visa Bulletin Summary

Employment-Based, First and Fourth Preferences (EB1 and EB4)

The EB1 and EB4 categories remain current throughout in the March 2016 Visa Bulletin. The DOS predicts that EB1 will remain current in upcoming months. EB4 is also expected to remain current for most countries in the near future.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)

The EB2 category remains current in the FA chart, except for India and China. India’s FA cutoff date advances by two and a half months, to October 15, 2008. China’s FA EB2 cutoff date moves by five months, to August 1, 2012. EB2 China also moves forward by five months in the dates for filing (DF) chart, to June 1, 2013. EB2 India’s DF cutoff date is still stuck at July 1, 2009.

The DOS predicts that EB2 worldwide will remain current in the coming months. EB2 India is expected to advance by up to three months per month through June 2016. EB2 China is predicted to advance by up to five months per month during the same time period.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)

The EB3 worldwide category FA cutoff date advances by three months, to January 1, 2016. The same FA cutoff date continues to apply to EB3 Mexico. India’s EB3 cutoff date again advances by a month in the FA chart, to July 15, 2004, and sees no movement in the DF chart. In the FA chart, China advances by eight months, to June 1, 2013. The cutoff date for EB3 China in the DF chart advances by more than a year, to May 1, 2015. The EB3 FA cutoff date for the Philippines again moves forward by just over two months, to March 15, 2008.

The DOS explains that the rapid advancement in EB3 worldwide and Mexico over the past ten months is expected to generate a lot of demand. Once that demand materializes, the cutoff date movement will slow down. The DOS expects the EB3 India cutoff date in the FA chart to advance by up to one month each month through June 2016. China is expected to advance by up to five months per month during the same period.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Other Workers

The EB3 other workers FA cutoff dates continue to match the general EB3 cutoff dates, with the exception of China. China’s EB3 other worker FA cutoff date advances by just over a month, to February 1, 2007. In the DF chart, EB3 China moves up by seven months, to August 1, 2007.

Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5)

The EB5 category continues to be current throughout, with the exception of China. China’s EB5 FA cutoff date advances by just a few days, to January 22, 2014.


EB2 and EB3 India continue to lag far behind all other employment-based categories. However, EB2 is continuing to move forward, although at a slower pace than during recent months. We remain hopeful that there will be impactful movement during the last half of the fiscal year.


Copyright © 2016, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.