Overview of December 2016 Visa Bulletin

Last week, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the December 2016 Visa Bulletin. Once again, there is no change in the dates for filing (DF) chart from the previous month. As for the final action (FA) chart, the priority date movement is fairly consistent with the predictions made in recent months by the DOS. This latest visa bulletin also notes that the level of demand in the employment-based categories increased significantly last year, and that this heightened demand has not dropped off; accordingly, updated predictions on priority date movement in the employment-based visa categories is also provided.

Visa Bulletin Summary

Employment-Based, First Preferences (EB1)

This category remains current for all countries of chargeability in the December 2016 Visa Bulletin. However, the DOS cautions that a cutoff date in the FA chart will have to be imposed “at some point” for EB1 India and China.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)

The cutoff date for EB2 India advances by three months, to February 1, 2008. EB3 China moves ahead by about two months, to September 22, 2012.

The EB2 category remains current for all other countries of chargeability. The DOS notes, however, that “based on the current demand pattern it appears likely that it will be necessary to impose a Worldwide, Mexico, and Philippines final action date no later than July.” No new predictions are provided for EB2 India or China.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)

Once again, the cutoff date for EB3 India only moves forward by one week, to March 15, 2005. The cutoff date for EB3 China advances by six weeks, to July 1, 2013. Meanwhile, EB3 for the Philippines sees movement of two months, to a new cutoff date of June 1, 2011. For all other countries of chargeability, the cutoff day remains unchanged at July 1, 2016.

For EB3 India, “movement of this date will be limited to one week, then the date will hold for several months, then move one week, then likely to hold.”

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Other Workers

As usual, the cutoff dates for EB3 other workers continue to match the general EB3 cutoff dates for all countries except China. EB3 other workers for China advances by two months, to November 1, 2005.

Employment-Based, Fourth Preference (EB4)

In the EB4 category, the cutoff date for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico is set at July 15, 2015. This category remains current for all other countries of chargeability.

Employment-Based Fifth Preference (EB5)

EB5 for China advances by two weeks, to March 22, 2014. This category remains current for all other countries.


The predictions provided are discouraging, but not entirely unexpected. For future updates on the visa bulletin and other immigration law matters, subscribe to the free MurthyBulletin, and check MurthyDotCom regularly.


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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.