March 19, 2016
The Department of State has released the April Visa Bulletin. Separately, USCIS has confirmed that it will accept filings based on the “Filing Dates” chart for family-based applicants, while employment-based applications will be accepted based on the “Final Action” chart. This is consistent with the past few months. Full charts are below (click to enlarge).
Chart to Use in April for Adjustment Applicants
Family-based: Filing Dates
Employment based: Final Action
If you are outside of the United States and will be applying for an Immigrant Visa at a U.S. Consulate, you should continue to exclusively consult the dates and information listed at the Department of State’s visa bulletin website.
The Department of State didn’t provide any additional forward guidance for this month; however, last month’s guidance is still relevant, and so has been re-printed below. Keep in mind that the priority date movement described below has already begun taking effect with April’s visa bulletin:
VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS
FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)
F1: Three to five weeks
F2A: Up to one month
F2B: Up to three weeks
F3: Up to four weeks
F4: Three to four weeks
EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)
Employment First: Current
China: Up to five months.
India: Up to three months.
Worldwide: The rapid forward movement of this cut-off date during the past ten months should generate a significant amount of
demand for numbers. When such demand begins to
materialize it will be necessary to limit movement of this
China: Up to five months.
India: Up to one month.
Mexico: Will remain at the worldwide date.
Philippines: Up to four months.
Employment Fourth: Current for most countries
Employment Fifth: The category will remain “Current” for most countries.
China-mainland born: Slow forward movement.
The above projections for the Family and Employment categories indicate what is likely to happen on a monthly basis through June based on current applicant demand patterns. Readers should never assume that recent trends in cut-off date movements are guaranteed for the future, or that “corrective” action will not be required at some point in an effort to maintain number use within the applicable annual limits. The determination of the actual monthly cut-off dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables.
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