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January 2016 Visa Bulletin Analysis for Family-Sponsored (F) Immigrant Visas

Below is our monthly analysis of the State Department’s Visa Bulletin regarding family-sponsored immigration. These categories have priority date cutoffs, except for the following, which are in the “Immediate Relative” category:

IR-1: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
IR-2: Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a U.S. Citizen
IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
IR-4: Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
IR-5: Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old

We have not seen a lot of volatility in the family-sponsored preference categories. Instead, they are subject to slow and steady change that can easily be tracked from month to month.

In January, family-sponsored visa beneficiaries (that are already in the United States) may continue to use the Initial Filing dates rather than the Final Action dates.

Initial filing dates in January have made steady progress for all countries except Mexico and the Philippines, which have progressed only in the F2-A category.

Final action dates have moved forward in most categories, making slow progress.

(F1): Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 and up) of U.S. citizens

Initial filing dates have remained unchanged for Mexico and the Philippines, while for all other countries they jumped ahead by five months. Final action dates are making slow but steady progress.

Dates for Final Action (Green Card Approval)

Mexico

December 22, 1994

Philippines

June 1, 2003

All other Areas*

May 15, 2008

Dates for Initial Filing

Mexico

April 1, 1995

Philippines

September 1, 2005

All other Areas*

October 1, 2009

(F2-A): Spouses and Children (Under 21) of Permanent Residents

Initial filing dates have progressed three months for all countries in this category. Final action dates have progressed three months for Mexico, and two months for all other countries.

Dates for Final Action (Green Card Approval)

Mexico

June 1, 2014

All Other Areas*

August 1, 2014

Dates for Initial Filing

All Areas

June 15, 2015

(F2-B): Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 and up) of Permanent Residents

Initial filing dates have jumped ahead five months for all countries except Mexico and the Philippines, which remain unchanged. Final Action dates have not made much progress this month, with Mexico remaining the same, Philippines advancing one month, and all other countries retrogressing one month.

Dates for Final Action (Green Card Approval)

Mexico

September 8, 1995

Philippines

January 1, 2005

All other Areas*

April 1, 2009

Dates for Initial Filing

Mexico

April 1, 1996

Philippines

May 1, 2005

All other Areas*

December 15, 2010

(F3): Married Sons and Daughters (21 and Up) of U.S. Citizens

Initial filing dates for Mexico and the Philippines remain unchanged, otherwise for the rest of the world the date has leapt forward five months. Final action dates have slowly progressed by one month for all countries.

Dates for Final Action (Green Card Approval)

Mexico

August 1, 1994

Philippines

November 1, 1993

All other Areas*

August 1, 2004

Dates for Initial Filing

Mexico

May 1, 1995

Philippines

August 1, 1995

All other Areas*

August 1, 2005

(F4): Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens

For this category, initial filing dates have progressed by three months for all countries except Mexico and the Philippines, which remain unchanged. For final action dates, Mexico remains unchanged, while the Philippines and all other countries have progressed by one month.

Dates for Final Action (Green Card Approval)

Mexico

April 1, 1997

Philippines

July 22, 1992

All other Areas*

April 22, 2003

Dates for Initial Filing

Mexico

June 1, 1998

Philippines

January 1, 1993

All other Areas*

May 1, 2004

If your petition’s priority date is before or near its corresponding cutoff date, or if you have questions about the Visa Bulletin and how it may apply to your immigration case, contact The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates.

*All other “areas of chargeability” as defined by the State Department

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