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August 2016 Visa Bulletin Establishes Cutoff Dates For EB-1 China and India, EB-2 “All Other”

12 Jul

The U.S. Department of State recently published the Monthly Visa Bulletin for August 2016, bringing about the predicted retrogression in visa availability under the Employment-based, First Preference (EB-1) category for persons born in India or China, and under the EB-2 category for all countries of birth.  Little or no forward progress is expected until the beginning of the new fiscal year on October 1st.

For the first time in years, a cut-off date has been established under the EB-1 category for persons born in India or China and under the EB-2 category for persons born in all other countries.  This means that applicants under these categories will not be able to concurrently file I-485 Applications to Adjust Status with their I-140 Immigrant Visa Petitions in the month of August.  The categories are expected to open again for concurrent filing in October.

The practical impact is that, starting in August, applicants and their family members will likely be delayed by two months in their ability to file I-485 Applications to Adjust Status with supplemental applications for employment authorization and Advance Parole travel documents, which are normally filed together with an I-485 Application to Adjust Status.  Accordingly, EB-1 applicants born in India or China, and EB-2 applicants born in other countries, must file their I-485 Applications, and their applications for employment authorization and Advance Parole in the month of July, or wait until an immigrant visa becomes available again, which is anticipated to be in October.

Applicants who have previously established EB-2 or EB-3 priority dates earlier than the published cutoff dates should be unaffected, as they may generally use the earlier priority date to enable filing under the EB-1 or EB-2 category despite the current retrogression.

The “final action cutoff dates” below represent the cutoff date for approval of pending applications and for the filing of new employment-based applications for permanent residence.

Final Action Cutoff Dates

Visa Bulletin August 2016

As always, Foster will continue to monitor immigrant visa availability and the procedures that allow for filing Applications to Adjust Status to permanent resident and will provide additional information in future Immigration Updates© and on our firm’s website at www.fosterglobal.com.