Hopefully, all are enjoying the last month of summer and not worrying too much about the advancement of the priority dates! For those of you who will be dismayed about the state of the priority dates in the State Department’s Visa Bulletin for September 2016, take heart. September 30th is the last day of the fiscal year, and new visa numbers will become available on October 1st, the first day of the government’s fiscal year. Mexico’s EB-4 and India’s EB-4 categories will probably become current again in October. However, for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, it is likely that a cut-off date in 2015 will be established for EB-4 starting in October, but is likely to move forward very slowly during the next fiscal year.
The final action date for the EB-2 worldwide category remains backlogged to February 1st, 2014, more than two and a half years behind. While the State Department allows filing of EB-2 immigrant visa petitions up to the current date, so even if your priority date is behind you can initiate immigrant visa processing, USCIS does not allow this. Thus, those adjusting status in the US are still backlogged to February 1, 2014 and may not file unless their priority dates are current.
For China, EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 are all backlogged to January 1, 2010, more than six and a half years behind. For India, EB-1 is backlogged to January 1, 2010 as well, but EB-2, EB-3 and Other Workers are backlogged to February 2005, more than 11 and a half years away. The Philippines is current for EB-1, EB-2 is at February 1, 2014, the same as the worldwide category, with more than a two and a half year wait. EB-3 and Other Workers for the Philippines are at July 1, 2010, more than six years wait.
El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras’ employment-based categories, with the exception of EB-2 are also behind, but EB-3 and Other Workers as a practical matter are doing fine at May 1, 2016. However, the EB-4 and Religious Workers categories are at January 1, 2010, more than a six and a half year wait. The January 1, 2010 cut-off date imposed earlier this year is mostly due to high demand for Special Immigrant Juvenile visas.