September 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)
Final Action Dates have moved forward in most categories, making slow progress. It would seem that USCIS is choosing to focus on advancing Final Action Dates again this period.
All F-1 visa categories advanced by eight months except for Mexico, which unfortunately retrogressed by a month.
For F-2A visas, we saw each country advance by a week except for Mexico, which remained September 1, 2014. The filing date for F-2B visas advanced by a little over three months, except for Mexico. Mexico advanced by one week.
We did not see any movement for F-3 visas, except in the Philippines and Mexico. The Philippines advanced by over four months, while Mexico retrogressed by three weeks.
F-4 visas saw advancement by four months for the Philippines, one week for Mexico and two months for all other areas except for China and India. China and India’s respective cut-off dates remained the same.
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.