July 2016 Visa Bulletin: Explanations and Predictions

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) monthly visa bulletin check-in comes directly from Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division. The information related to the July 2016 Visa Bulletin provides a more detailed explanation for current developments, as well as predictions for upcoming months.

Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1)

Continued high demand in this category is likely to cause the establishment of a cutoff date for EB1 India and China within the next two months. These categories are expected to then return to ‘current’ on October 1, 2016, which will be the first day of fiscal year 2017 (FY17).

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)

The high level of demand for EB2 worldwide visa numbers makes it likely that a cutoff date will be established in this category by September 2016. The DOS cannot identify the source of this surge in EB2 worldwide demand. The DOS does not believe it is the result of EB3-to-EB2 ‘upgrades,’ because the EB3 worldwide cutoff date has remained very favorable, providing little motivation to upgrade.

The DOS predicts that EB2 India’s final action cutoff date will hold at just one week in advance of the EB3 India cutoff date. This condition is expected to continue through the remainder of fiscal year 2016 (FY16).

In the June 2016 Visa Bulletin, the DOS retrogressed the cutoff date for EB2 China, to January 1, 2010. This date is unchanged. The DOS reiterated the expectation that there will be no further movement in this category before FY17. As of the July Visa Bulletin, the same cutoff date and expectation applies to EB3 China.

Employment-Based, Fourth Preference (EB4)

As predicted, the cutoff date for EB4 Mexico retrogresses to January 1, 2010 in the July 2016 Visa Bulletin. This cutoff date matches that of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in this category. The DOS does not expect any further movement in this category for the remainder of FY16. The DOS estimates that EB4 Mexico will become current again at the start of FY17. Based upon the data available at this time, the DOS projects the establishment of a 2015 cutoff date for EB4 El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.


It is not unusual for cutoff dates in some categories to stop moving near the end of the fiscal year. At this point, it remains to be seen how much movement will occur once the new fiscal year arrives.


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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.