March 2016 Visa Bulletin Predictions & Analysis

The official March Visa Bulletin has been released by the U.S. Department of State and we see a number of advancements in the employment based category, Final Action cutoff dates and others. One of the most noteworthy predictions we likely

We’ll explain in greater detail how these major changes can affect your immigration status and what actionable steps to take next.

March 2016 Visa Bulletin Summary

Below you’ll find the March 2016 Visa Bulletin changes as well as predictions we anticipate in the coming months. Should you have any questions regarding the content outlined below, it’s best to contact our office directly and speak to one of our qualified immigration attorneys.

Employment-Based Category – EB1 and EB2

Both the Employment Based first and fourth categories remain current based on the March 2016 Visa Bulletin. Furthermore, the Department of State anticipates that the first preference and the EB4 category will continue to be current in the coming months, for the majority of countries.

As we see in the Final Action (FA) chart, all countries are current with the exception of India and China. The Final Action cutoff date for India moves forward 2 1/2 months to October 15, 2008 while China moves ahead by 5 months to August 1, 2012! In the Dates of Filing (DF) chart, China moves ahead 5 months to the new date June 1, 2013. Meanwhile, the DF date for EB2 India remains at July 1, 2009.

The Department of State has predicted that the employment second preference category will stay current in the months ahead. In line with that prediction, EB2 India is anticipated to advance to June 2016, about 3 months. EB2 China will likely advance up to 5 months throughout that period as well.

Employment-Based Category – Third Preference & Other Workers

As you’ll notice in the chart, the Final Action cutoff date for the EB3 category moves ahead by 3 months to January 1, 2016. EB3 Mexico has the same Final Action cutoff date while India’s date advances by a month to July 15, 2004. China moves ahead by 8 months to June 1, 2013 while EB3 China in the DF chart moves ahead upwards of a year to May 1, 2015. Philippines moves ahead by over 2 months to March 15, 2008.

The Final Action cutoff dates for EB3 Other Workers align with the general EB3 dates except China whose FA date moves forward by a little over a month to Feb. 1, 2007.

The Department of State has noted that the advancement of EB3 around the world and in Mexico will likely generate substantial demand. After that demand occurs we might see the cutoff date slow down.

 Employment-Based Category –  Fifth Preference

The EB5 category based on the March 2016 Visa Bulletin, shows the dates to be current except China whose Final Action cutoff date moves ahead a few days to January 22, 2014.

Recap of Employment-Based Category Changes

EB1: Current for all countries of chargeability as well as China, India, Mexico and Philippines.

EB2: Current for all countries of chargeability and Mexico and Philippines. China has a cutoff date of August 1, 2012 while India is October 15, 2008.

EB3: The cutoff date for all areas of chargeability is January 1, 2016. China has a cutoff of June 1, 2013, while India is July 15, 2004. Mexico has a cutoff date of January 1, 2016 and Philippines is March 15, 2008.

Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases

employment based chart March 2016 visa bulletin

 Dates for Filing of Employment-Based Visa Applications

dates for filing March 2016 visa bulletin


“Visit for information on whether USCIS has determined that this chart can be used (in lieu of the chart in paragraph 5.A.) this month for filing applications for adjustment of status with USCIS. “

Family Sponsored Final Action Cases

The chart below is indicative of the Final Action (FA) dates for the family-sponsored preference cases. Since these cases can often be complex and have extensive waiting periods it’s advised to consult a professional Fort Lauderdale Immigration Lawyer.

family sponsored preference bulletin

Determination of I-485

The Visa Bulletin structure in 2016 is quite different than last year. In addition to the FA and DF charts, each month USCIS decides whether the cut off dates for the DF chart can be used to adjust your status. You can see the decision made each month by referring to the official USCIS page roughly one week after each bulletin is released.


If you want to be placed on the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the “Visa Bulletin”, please send an E-mail to [email protected] and in the message body type: Subscribe Visa-Bulletin.

Why Choose SGM Law Group – March 2016 Visa Bulletin

Looking for a reputable law firm, dedicated to your case? Our immigration attorneys offer comprehensive services for individuals seeking employment based immigration, as well as family immigration and other sponsorship types. We have an excellent success rate of approvals in complex business immigration cases including EB1, EB2 and EB3 Green Cards in addition to H1B Visas. What’s more, we charge flat fees for many of are cases.Contact us to learn more about the December 2015 Visa Bulletin and how to begin the process today!