Overview of July 2016 Visa Bulletin

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) July 2016 Visa Bulletin is now available. The retrogression that hit key categories in June 2016 continues with little change in July. All cutoff dates described below refer to the final action (FA) chart. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has only designated the FA chart as appropriate for use in July.

Visa Bulletin Summary

Employment-Based, First Preferences (EB1)

The EB1 category continues to be current for all countries. The DOS reiterated predications for the establishment of a cutoff date in this category for China and India by September 2016. However, this category will return to “current” status for all countries on October 1, 2016, which is the first day of fiscal year 2017.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)

The EB2 category stays current, with the exception of India and China. The extreme retrogression for both of the backlogged countries, announced in the June 2016 Visa Bulletin, continues as predicated. EB2 India’s cutoff date advances by only a month, to November 1, 2004. China’s cutoff date is unchanged, at January 1, 2010.

The DOS confirms earlier predictions that the cutoff date for China will not advance in August and September. In this same timeframe, EB2 India is expected to have a cutoff date just one week beyond the EB3 India cutoff date. The DOS expects to impose a worldwide cutoff date in September, which would be the first time for that action.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)

The EB3 worldwide category cutoff date advances to March 1, 2016. This cutoff date also applies to EB3 Mexico, as well as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. EB3 India moves up by a month, to October 22, 2004. The January 1, 2010, cutoff date for EB3 China continues to match the EB2 China cutoff date. The Philippines EB3 cutoff date progresses to February 15, 2009.

The DOS expects that the EB3 worldwide cutoff date will advance by up to a month in August and September. China is not expected to have any forward movement in this timeframe. India is expected to benefit from some excess EB3 worldwide visa numbers. Even if this occurs, though, the EB3 India cutoff date would likely move only to early 2005 by the end of this fiscal year. Mexico’s cutoff date is expected to remain in sync with the worldwide date. The Philippines may advance to late 2009 or early 2010.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Other Workers

EB3 other workers continues to match the general EB3 cutoff dates, with the exception of China. China’s EB3 other workers cutoff date retrogresses by over three years, to January 1, 2004.

Employment-Based, Fourth Preference (EB4)

The EB4 category is current, with the exception of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. These countries have a cutoff date of January 1, 2010. This cutoff date is expected to remain in place through September. The same date is expected to apply to India in August.

Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB5)

The EB5 category remains current, except for China. China’s EB5 cutoff date of February 15, 2014 is unchanged. The DOS states that the best-case scenario in this category would allow China to advance to March 1, 2014 by September 2016. EB5 for all other countries is expected to remain current for the foreseeable future.


The DOS is, for the most part, adhering to June’s predictions. If any new information comes to light, details will be posted on MurthyDotCom.


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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.