Overview of September 2016 Visa Bulletin

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued the September 2016 Visa Bulletin, which is the final visa bulletin of fiscal year 2016 (FY16). This visa bulletin is largely unchanged from the previous month in many key categories, and continues to have cutoff dates in the employment-based, first preference (EB1) category for India and China, as well as the employment-based, second preference (EB2) for all countries of chargeability.

Visa Bulletin Summary

Employment-Based, First Preferences (EB1)

The DOS established a cutoff date of January 1, 2010 in the EB1 category for India and China in the August 2016 Visa Bulletin. This cutoff date remains unchanged in September. It is expected that, in October or November 2016, this category will return to the usual state of “current” throughout.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)

The August 2016 Visa Bulletin assigned a cutoff date to EB2 worldwide for the first time in history. This cutoff date of February 1, 2014 remains in place for the month of September. The same cutoff date applies to El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines.

The cutoff date for EB2 China remains unchanged, at January 1, 2010. EB2 India continues to be severely retrogressed, but does move forward by approximately three months, to February 22, 2005.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)

The EB3 worldwide category cutoff date continues to be very favorable, with a jump forward to May 1, 2016. This almost-current cutoff date also applies to EB3 Mexico, as well as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. As predicted, EB3 India advances by several months, to February 15, 2005. The EB3 cutoff date for China is identical to the EB2 China cutoff date of January 1, 2010.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Other Workers

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

Employment-Based Fourth Preference (EB4)

EB4 for India, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, all have a cutoff date of January 1, 2010. EB4 is current for all other countries of chargeability.

Employment-Based Fifth Preference (EB5)

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


As mentioned, the September 2016 Visa Bulletin marks the final visa bulletin of FY16. The DOS will have access to a new batch of immigrant visa numbers when the new fiscal year begins on October 1st. Hopefully, this will start pushing some of the heavily backlogged visa categories forward.


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.