August 2016 Visa Bulletin Available

USCIS released its notice Sept. 21, 2016 advising that most visa applicants may use the published DOS data, but some limitations have been set on EB-5 and EB-4 visas.

DOS Publishes Visa Bulletin for October 2016

On Sept. 8, the Department of State published its Visa Bulletin for October 2016. The Visa Bulletin is a monthly report on visa availability. USCIS has determined that for the month of October 2016, applicants for all family-sponsored and employment-based preferences may use the Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart, except for certain employment-based fourth preference (EB-4) non-minister religious workers and for employment-based fifth preference (EB-5) Regional Center Program participants, as explained below. These two groups must use the Application Final Action Dates chart.

Notes:

·        Employment-based applicants include Special Immigrant Juveniles because they adjust their status under the EB-4 visa category.

·        Statutory authorization for both the EB-5 Regional Center Program and the EB-4 non-minister special immigrant program for certain religious workers is scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, 2016. Therefore, visas are unavailable for these categories after that date, unless Congress enacts, and the President approves, a law extending their eligibility. If these programs are reauthorized, USCIS will update the Visa Bulletin and program webpages.  For more details, read section D, “Scheduled Expiration of Two Employment Visa Categories,” in the October 2016 Visa Bulletin.

About the Visa Bulletin

Congress annually sets the numbers of immigrant visas that may be issued for the family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant preference categories. If you are a prospective immigrant in any of these categories, the Visa Bulletin shows when a visa is available to you based on your priority date.

Immigrant visas for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are not subject to numerical limits.

The Department of State updates the Visa Bulletin on or about the eighth day of each month. USCIS updates information on its Adjustment of Status Filing Charts from the Visa Bulletin page about one week later. Sometimes, a category that is current one month will not be current the next month, or a priority date will move backward to an earlier date. This is called visa retrogression. It generally occurs when the annual limit for a category or country has been reached or is expected to be reached soon.  USCIS encourages those seeking immigrant visas to check the Visa Bulletin each month to learn about changes to the Visa Bulletin and possible visa retrogression.