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May 2016 Visa Bulletin Shows Little or No Advancement for Most Categories

15 Apr

The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) recently published Monthly Visa Bulletin for May 2016 reports little or no advancement to the “final action cutoff date” for applicants in most employment-based categories experiencing a backlog. The largest progression in the “final action cutoff date” was by over three (3) months for EB-3 applicants born in the Philippines. The EB-2 and EB-3 preference categories for India also progressed by two (2) and three (3) weeks, respectively. Additionally, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras now have cutoff dates listed apart from the “all other” countries because the EB-4 and Religious Workers preference categories are now backlogged for those countries.

As a reminder, in October 2015 the DOS began including two separate cutoff dates under backlogged categories. The “filing cutoff date” represents the cutoff date for filing new Applications to Adjust Status to Permanent Resident (green card) with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (CIS). The CIS reviews the DOS-published “filing cutoff dates” against the internal CIS backlog of applications and usage data and will not automatically accept the dates presented by the DOS. The CIS has not yet indicated whether applicants may rely on the DOS-published “filing cutoff dates” for May 2016; however, the CIS should publish the CIS filing dates within the next week on the CIS webpage publishing the CIS filing cutoff dates.

The “final action cutoff dates” below represent the cutoff date for approval of pending applications.

Final Action Cutoff Dates


* The “Final Action Cut-off Date” is the date traditionally published each month in the Visa Bulletin before the October 2015 Visa Bulletin.

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