August 2016 Visa Bulletin: Cutoff Dates in EB1 India and China, and EB2 Worldwide

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) August 2016 Visa Bulletin is remarkable, but not surprising, in that it contains a February 1, 2014 cutoff date for the employment-based, second preference (EB2) worldwide category. This is the first time this category has ever had a cutoff date. Employment-based, first preference (EB1), as predicted, reflects a cutoff date of January 1, 2010 for India and China. The following summarizes the employment-based final action (FA) cutoff dates for August 2016. In the event the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows the use of the dates for filing (DF) chart for employment-based cases in August, an update will be posted on MurthyDotCom.

Visa Bulletin Summary

Employment-Based, First Preferences (EB1)

The EB1 category typically is current for all countries. However, there is a cutoff date for India and China in this category during the month of August. This cutoff date of January 1, 2010 is expected to remain in place until October 1, 2016, which is the first day of fiscal year 2017 (FY17). At that time, it is predicted that the category will return to being current throughout. This development is the result of high visa number demand.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)

The August 2016 Visa Bulletin has a historic cutoff date for worldwide, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines. This cutoff date is February 1, 2014. High demand for visa numbers in this category led to the need to establish a cutoff date. The category is expected to return to being current (except for India and China) at the start of FY17.

The cutoff date for China, as predicted, remains at January 1, 2010. The severely retrogressed EB2 India cutoff date moves just two weeks, to November 15, 2004.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)

The EB3 worldwide category cutoff date moves slightly, to March 15, 2016. This cutoff date also applies to EB3 Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. EB3 India moves to November 8, 2004. The cutoff date for EB3 China matches the EB2 China cutoff date of January 1, 2010. The Philippines EB3 cutoff date advances by three months, to May 15, 2009.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Other Workers

The EB3 other workers cutoff dates continue to match the general EB3 cutoff dates, with the exception of China. China’s EB3 other workers cutoff date remains unchanged at January 1, 2004.

Employment-Based Fourth Preference (EB4)

The EB4 category is current, with the exception of India, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. These countries have a cutoff date of January 1, 2010. This cutoff date was established in July for the listed countries, other than India. India was current in this category in July.

The source of this change in EB4 is high demand in this category by special immigrant juvenile (SIJS) cases. This demand made it necessary to retrogress the category to keep visa number usage within annual limits.

Employment-Based Fifth Preference (EB5)

The EB5 category remains current, except for China. China’s EB5 cutoff date continues unchanged at February 15, 2014.


The August 2016 Visa Bulletin is in line with earlier predictions. Subscribe to the free MurthyBulletin, or check MurthyDotCom for future updates on the monthly visa bulletin and other immigration matters.


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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.