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News and Updates

The latest immigration and visa news for the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and select European countries - straight from the leading immigrant advocates in the Philippines.

Charting your visa future: Visa Bulletin October and November 2016

Commuters in traffic-challenged cities around the world chart their routes through Waze™ and find so many routes to travel.  Unlike that popular app though, there is no reliable visa-priority-date/traffic charter because no one can predict what may happen to other countries and the U.S. And remember, political and economic developments in and outside the U.S. affect the availability of visa numbers.

Crispin Aranda, Jennifer Aranda | Originally posted on October 13, 2016; updated October 16, 2016

Charting your visa future: Visa Bulletin October and November 2016

Of course, Waze™ does not and cannot predict when a local politician will close a street for a wake or wedding.  By and large though, charting your way through Waze™ is reliable.

Figuring how you can get to your visa interview date has been a little crazier than usual. Since October last year, the U.S. State Department created two charts, officially to make it easier for immigrant visa applicants to get their documents ready before an interview date at the U.S. Embassy could be scheduled.

Immigrant visa applicants from the provinces need to travel to urban centers (with or without Waze) for the personal appearance at a U.S. Embassy. It becomes doubly important, therefore, to know which – from the two charts being published by the State Department every month – the visa applicant must monitor.

Note that there are visa applicants who are already residing in the U.S.A. and would be competing for the immigrant visa applicants waiting in their own countries.  There are difference in processing, however.

  • Those with approved petitions who are currently living in the U.S.A. legally, would have to go through the adjustment of status to permanent residency. The visa applicants outside the U.S.A. would have to apply for the immigrant visa and lawful permanent residency.
  • Those in the U.S.A. get their green card AFTER approval of their application for adjustment of status usually AFTER the required interview.  Visa applicants in the Philippines, India, Mexico and from elsewhere get their green card AFTER being issued the visa, then subsequently admitted into the U.S.

Regardless if one's place of residence, applicants become lawful permanent residents. They get their green card as the portable official documents confirming their lawful permanent resident status.


So, which chart to follow?

The State Department’s November report “summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during November for: “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications,” indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center. 

This route is for visa applicants seeking to register as lawful permanent residents OUTSIDE the United States.  

If you live in the U.S.A and intend to file an application for an adjustment of status, you must use the "Final Action Dates" charts to determine when you can file your application: unless indicated otherwise on the website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (or USCIS).  If there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, the USCIS will make the announcement on its website that applicants may instead use the "Dates for Filing Visa Applications" chart in the Visa Bulletin.

Final Action Dates for Family-Sponsored Preference Categories

The FINAL and FILING chart dates below show how the FILING DATES or all Family-sponsored categories:

PHILIPPINES

 Category

FILING DATES FINAL ACTION DATES

October 2016

November 2016

October 2016 

 November 2016  

F1

01MAY06

01MAY06

01AUG05

01SEP05

F2A

22NOV15

22NOV15

22DEC14

22JAN15

F2B

01FEB07

01FEB07

01JAN06

15FEB06

F3

01JAN95

01JAN95

08JUL94

08AUG94

F4

01APR94

01APR94

15APR93

08MAY93


INDIA

 Category

FILING DATES FINAL ACTION DATES

October 2016

November 2016

October 2016 

 November 2016  

F1

01JAN11

01JAN11

22SEP09

22OCT09

F2A

22NOV15

22NOV15

22DEC14

22JAN15

F2B

08FEB11

08FEB11

15MAR10

15APR10

F3

22AUG05

22AUG05

22DEC04

22JAN05

F4

01MAY04

01MAY04

01DEC02

15FEB03

 

 

Authors & Contributors

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer S. Aranda is the COO of IVC Immigrant Visa Center, Inc.

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