Overview of January 2017 Visa Bulletin

There were no real surprises in the January 2017 Visa Bulletin, which was released on Monday by the U.S. Department of State (DOS). As usual, there is no change in the dates for filing (DF) chart. There is some movement in the final action (FA) chart, but the oversubscribed categories continue to be heavily backlogged.

Visa Bulletin Summary

Employment-Based, First Preferences (EB1)

This category remains current for all countries of chargeability.

Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2)

The EB2 category remains current for all countries of chargeability except India and China. The cutoff date for EB2 India advances by ten weeks, to April 15, 2008. EB2 China moves forward by less than a month, to October 15, 2012.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3)

EB3 India sees no relief at all in the latest visa bulletin, remaining with a cutoff date of March 15, 2005. EB3 China advances by just over two months, to September 08, 2013. EB3 for the Philippines moves ahead by about 1 1/2 months, to July 22, 2011.

Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) Other Workers

EB3 other workers for China moves to December 1, 2005. For all other countries of chargeability, the cutoff date in the EB3 other worker’s category matches that of the general EB3 category.

Employment-Based Fourth Preference (EB4)

The cutoff date in the EB4 category for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico continues to be 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 April 8, 2014. This category remains current for all other countries.


No predictions were provided in the January 2017 Visa Bulletin, but it is likely that the DOS will offer updated predictions in the near future. For future updates on the visa bulletin and other immigration law matters, subscribe to the free MurthyBulletin.


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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.