Department of StatE August 2016 Visa Bulletin Summary

The Department of State released the August 2016 Visa Bulletin this week.  D&S provides a Monthly Summary of the family and employment-based priority dates.  For the second and third employment-based preference categories, Application Filing dates remained unchanged except for EB-3 Philippines which progressed 3 years to January 1, 2013 .

There was modest forward movement of 2 weeks for EB-2 and EB-3 India.  EB-2 and EB-3 China, remain unchanged with priority dates for both categories remaining at January 1, 2010.  Additionally, EB-1 China retrogressed to January 1, 2010.

EB-2 Worldwide will no longer be current and will retrogress to February 1, 2014.

Final Action dates for EB-3 Worldwide and EB-3 Mexico remain unchanged and EB-3 Philippines progressed 3 months to May 15, 2009.

Notably, EB-5 China Final Action dates continue to remains static at February 15, 2014.

As of today, July 12, 2016, USCIS has not advised whether in August 2016, it will accept adjustment of status applications for family or employment-based petitions based on filing dates, rather than final action dates. USCIS anticipates that this information will be released within one week of the monthly Visa Bulletin.

Department of State December 2015 Visa Bulletin Summary

The Department of State released the December 2015 Visa Bulletin today.  D&S provides a Monthly Summary of the family and employment based priority dates.  This month, the Final Action date for EB-2 India advanced by ten (10) months to June, 1, 2007.  The Final Action date for EB-2 China, however, remained unchanged at February 1, 2012.  The Final Action date for EB-3 India saw a modest progression of less than a month to April 22, 2004 and EB-3 China advanced 3.5 months to April 15, 2012. The Final Action date for EB-5 China advanced three (3) weeks to December 15, 2013.  

This month there was no movement in the Application Filing dates for any of the employment-based preference categories.  Finally, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has yet to confirm whether they will continue to accept adjustment of status applications for individuals whose Application Filing dates remain current in December.  D&S will continue to monitor USCIS’s Visa Bulletin page and provide an update when the agency announces later this month whether it will continue to accept these applications.

Department of State November 2015 Visa Bulletin Summary

The Department of State released the November 2015 Visa Bulletin today.  D&S provides a Monthly Summary of the family and employment based priority dates.  This month, the Filing dates for China and India remained unchanged for both the EB-2 and EB-3 preference categories. The Final Action dates for EB-2 India progressed a little over a year to August 1, 2006, and EB-3 India progressed just under one month to April 1, 2004. EB-2 China had a modest progression of one month to February 1, 2012 and EB-3 China progressed approximately 2.5 months to January 1, 2012.  Finally, the EB-5 China Filing date held steady at May 1, 2015 and the Final Action date progressed a little over one month to November 22, 2013.

The release of the November 2015 Visa Bulletin is further confirmation that the original October 2015 Visa Bulletin (originally released on September 9, 2015) which was superseded by an updated version (released on September 25, 2015) will not be restored at this time, despite the pending federal class action lawsuit filed against the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State. While the underlying lawsuit remains pending, earlier this week the U.S. District court denied the plaintiff's request for a temporary restraining order which would have forced the government to revert to the original version of the October 2015 Visa Bulletin. 

D&S will continue to monitor this and post updates as they become available.

USCIS Issues Draft EB-5 Policy Guidance In Wake of EB-5 Priority Date Retrogression

USCIS issued a Draft Policy Memorandum today, August 10, 2015, in anticipation of continuing issues regarding visa availability in the wake of the August 2014 retrogression of EB-5 visas for nationals of mainland China, which marked the first time in the history of the EB-5 Program that demand for visas exceeded availability.  Because EB-5 China retrogression is anticipated to extend into the foreseeable future, the Draft Memo provides additional guidance for two EB-5 eligibility grounds that may be affected by visa retrogression, namely, (1) the job creation requirement and (2) the requirement to sustain the investment during the conditional residence period. While doing little to change the actual policies in place regarding job creation and the sustained, at risk investment requirements, the Draft Memo does provide some examples of how investors may comply with these requirements even in the face of visa retrogression.

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