February 2016 Visa Bulletin

Alexander J. Segal's picture

The Department of State (DOS) released the visa bulletin for February of 2016. The Visa Bulletin shows when the person who is the beneficiary of a family-sponsored or employment-based immigrant visa petition may file a Form I-485 for an immigrant visa.

An alien may file for adjustment of status once his or her priority date is after the cutoff date listed on the Visa Bulletin.

For family-sponsored petitions, the priority date is when the immigrant visa petition was filed. For employment-based petitions, the date the labor certification application (where applicable) was accepted for processing serves as the priority date. For employment-based petitions (including for self-petitioners) where no labor certification was needed, the date the petition was filed serves as the priority date.

For February of 2016, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determined that beneficiaries of family-sponsored petitions may use the filing date whereas for employment-based filings, the final action dates must be used.

The following are the dates for filing family-sponsored adjustment of status applications:

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 01OCT09 01OCT09 01OCT09 01APR95 01SEP05
F2A 15JUN15 15JUN15 15JUN15 15JUN15 15JUN15
F2B 15DEC10 15DEC10 15DEC10 01APR96 01MAY05
F3 01AUG05 01AUG05 01AUG05 01MAY95 01AUG95
F4 01MAY04 01MAY04 01MAY04 01JUN98 01JAN93

The following are the application final action dates for filing employment-based preference cases:

Employment-Based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA — mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C 01MAR12 01AUG08 C C
3rd 01OCT15 01OCT12 15JUN04 01OCT15 08JAN08
Other Workers 01OCT15 22DEC06 15JUN04 01OCT15 08JAN08
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
(C5 and T5
C 15JAN14 C C C
(I5 and R5)
C 15JAN14 C C C

Please note that “C” stands for “current,” and means that the Form I-485 may be filed immediately.

Finally, the USCIS news release contains a chart that provides a simple overview of the entire process from the filing of a petition to using the Visa Bulletin to determine when an immigrant visa is available. We have reproduced the chart for your convenience:

[Click image to view full size]

Resources and Materials:

USCIS, “When to File Your Adjustment of Status Application for Family-Sponsored or Employment-Based Preference Visas: February 2016, (Jan. 13, 2015), available at https://www.uscis.gov/visabulletin-feb-16

February 2016 Visa Bulletin