Visa Bulletin for December 2016
DOS has posted the Visa Bulletin for December 2016. Included in the bulletin is information on over-subscription of Mexico employment-based fourth and certain religious workers preference categories. Since there continues to be a high demand in Mexico E4 and SR categories, USCIS has found it necessary to impose Final Action Dates for these categories in an attempt to hold number use within the FY 2017 annual limits.
Also included in the December bulletin are the dates for the scheduled expiration of two employment visa categories – Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR) and Employment Fifth Preference Categories (I5 and R5). The expiration date for both groups is December 9, 2016.
The bulletin also includes projections on future employment-based visa availability. The First category is projected to be current during the coming months, with the necessity to impose a Final Action Date for China-mainland born and India at some future date. The Second category is projected to be current for the foreseeable future, with a projected imposition of a Worldwide, Mexico, and Philippines Final Action Date no later than July 2017. For the Third category, the level of demand is increasing. Therefore, the date has been held for December 2016 and will likely hold once again for January 2017.
Note: As of November 9, 2016, USCIS has not advised whether, for December 2016, it will accept adjustment of status applications for family- or employment-based petitions based on filing dates, rather than final action dates. This information will likely be released within one week of the monthly Visa Bulletin.