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May 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

Family-Based Categories:

(F1): Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 and up) of U.S. citizens
(F2-A): Spouses and Children (Under 21) of Permanent Residents
(F2-B): Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 and up) of Permanent Residents
(F3): Married Sons and Daughters (21 and Up) of U.S. Citizens
(F4): Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens

Dates for Final Action (Green Card Approval) Dates for Final Action
Dates for Initial Filing Dates for Initial Filing

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. 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.

Unfortunately, Initial Filing Dates in May have remained unchanged for all countries in all categories and have not moved forward this period.

Final Action Dates, on the other hand, have moved forward in most categories, making slow progress. It would seem that USCIS is choosing to focus on advancing Final Action Dates this period, after focusing on Initial Filing Dates last month. Hopefully this will mean that they will focus on Initial Filing Dates next period, and we’ll see some more meaningful advances.

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