November 2016 Visa Bulletin

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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Introduction: November 2016 Visa Bulletin

On October 11, 2016, the Department of State (DOS) released the November 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin contains application final action dates and dates for filing in the family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant visa preference categories.

On October 13, 2016, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determined that applicants for adjustment of status with the USCIS in both the family-sponsored and employment-based preference categories may file for adjustment of status based on the filing dates instead of the application final action dates. However, the USCIS will require those seeking adjustment of status in the employment-based 5th preference (EB5) categories to use the final action dates instead of the filing dates.

In this article, we will provide the pertinent dates for those seeking adjustment of status in the family-sponsored and employment-based preference categories. We will also include the application final action dates from the Visa Bulletin. To learn about using the Visa Bulletin as a person seeking an immigrant visa through consular processing or through adjustment of status, please see our full article [see article]. To learn about when the DOS began producing the dates for filing charts, please see our full article [see article].

Please see our article on the Visa Bulletin for October 2016 to see the movement in the filing and final action dates in November [see article].

In this article, we will rely on the following resources:

  • Visa Bulletin for November 2016 (DOS) [link]
  • When to File Your Adjustment of Status Application for Family-Sponsored or Employment-Based Preference Visas: November 2016 (USCIS) [link]

Dates for Filing Family Sponsored Adjustment of Status Applications

The beneficiary of an approved family-sponsored immigrant visa petition may file for adjustment of status with the USCIS in November 2016 if his or her priority date is before the filing date on the following chart. In order to find the correct filing date, the beneficiary must locate his or her preference category and country of nationality.

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 01JAN11 01JAN11 01JAN11 01JUN95 01MAY06
F2A 22NOV15 22NOV15 22NOV15 22NOV15 22NOV15
F2B 08FEB11 08FEB11 08FEB11 01JUN96 01FEB07
F3 22AUG05 22AUG05 22AUG05 01MAY95 01JAN95
F4 01JUL04 01JUL04 01MAY04 01DEC97 01APR94

Final Action Dates

The following chart is for the final action dates for family-sponsored immigrant visa petitions. This chart reflects the date on which a final decision can be made on an immigrant visa petition.

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 22OCT09 22OCT09 22OCT09 08APR95 01SEP05
F2A 22JAN15 22JAN15 22JAN15 08JAN15 22JAN15
F2B 15APR10 15APR10 15APR10 08OCT95 15FEB06
F3 22JAN05 22JAN05 22JAN05 01DEC94 08AUG94
F4 01DEC03 01AUG03 15FEB03 08MAY97 08MAY93

Dates for Employment-Based Adjustment of Status Applications

The USCIS has determined that the beneficiaries of approved employment-sponsored immigrant visa petitions may use the filing dates except for those in the employment-based Fifth Preference (EB5) categories. Those seeking adjustment of status in the EB5 categories must use the final action dates. Accordingly, the following chart contains the filing dates for all preferences except EB5, and the final action dates for EB5. However, this distinction will only make a difference for EB5 petitions for Chinese nationals. In order to use this chart, a beneficiary of an approved employment-based immigrant visa petition must locate the row for his or her preference category and the column for his or her country of nationality. He or she may file for adjustment of status if the priority date is before the filing date (or final action date in the case of the EB5 categories).

Please note that “C” means that any person with an approved petition may file for adjustment of status if otherwise eligible.

Employment-Based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C 01MAR13 22APR09 C C
3rd C 01MAY14 01JUL05 C 01SEP13
Other Workers C 01AUG09 01JUL05 C 01SEP13
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
5th
Non-Regional
Center
(C5 and T5)
C 08MAR14 C C C
5th
Regional
Center
(I5 and R5)
C 08MAR14 C C C

Final Action Dates

The following chart contains the final action dates for employment-based petitions. This chart will reflect when an immigrant visa may be granted on the basis of an approved employment-based petition.

Employment based All Charge-ability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born EL SALVADOR GUATEMALA HONDURAS INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C C
2nd C 15JUL12 C 01NOV07 C C
3rd 01JUL16 15APR13 01JUL16 08MAR05 01JUL16 01APR11
Other Workers 01JUL16 01SEP05 01JUL16 08MAR05 01JUL16 01APR11
4th C C 15JUL15 C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C 15JUL15 C C C
5th
Non-Regional
Center
(C5 and T5)
C 08MAR14 C C C C
5th
Regional
Center
(I5 and R5)
C 08MAR14 C C C C

Conclusion

For the second consecutive month, the USCIS is allowing the beneficiaries of approved immigrant visa petitions to use the filing date charts, with a limited exception for those seeking adjustment of status in the EB5 category. On the November 2016 Visa Bulletin, the DOS did not issue any new projections for future movements in the final action dates in the family-sponsored and employment-based preference categories. To see the most recent projections through the month of January, please see our article on the October 2016 Visa Bulletin [see article].

Those seeking an immigrant visa through consular processing or adjustment of status should consult with an experienced immigration attorney throughout the entire process.