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Visa Bulletin for January 2016

It is a Welcoming New Year (2016) for all Family-sponsored categories for the Philippines.

Crispin ArandaOriginally posted on December 10, 2015; updated February 13, 2016

Visa Bulletin for January 2016


It is a Welcoming New Year (2016) for all Family-sponsored categories for the Philippines - those who are already documentarily qualified. The FINAL DATES of the January 2016 Visa Bulletin shows that ALL CATEGORIES advanced from December of 2015.

However, the Filing Dates for both months (December 2015 and January 2016) are not as good as the FINAL DATES – except for the F2A category (Spouses and minor children of Permanent Lawful Residents or green card holders.  The Filing Date for F2A moved three (3) months and 2 weeks. All other Family-sponsored categories remained the same.

What does this mean?

The FILING DATES may be used by visa applicants in the Family or Employment-based categories to determine whether they can already START processing their immigrant visas. 

For example the January Filing Date for the F2A category last month (December 2015) was March 1, 2015.  So, all F2A visa applicants whose PRIORITY DATES are on or earlier than March 1, 2015 may already start processing their immigrant visa applications even if their PRIORITY DATE is not yet current.

How do you know a priority date is current?

The FINAL DATES of each Monthly Visa Bulletin report shows the priority dates that are current.  Therefore, for F2A, while they can already start processing of their immigrant visa applications, a visa interview cannot be scheduled yet at the U.S. Embassy by the Visa Office because the priority date is not yet current and as a consequence, immigrant visas are not yet available.

It is different for the F2A visa applicant whose priority date is on or earlier than that indicated in the FINAL DATE column of January 2016 Visa Bulletin report. That date is June 15, 2015.  F2A visa applicants whose priority dates were not yet current (as shown on the FINAL DATES of the December 2015) Visa bulletin report, should not be receiving their interview notices from the National Visa Center.

This presupposes that an F2A visa applicant has submitted complete, accurately complete documents, paid the correct processing fee and there are no inconsistencies in the information provided either by the Designated Agent or the Petitioner or the Applicant (if no Agent was designated to process the immigrant visa application.

Department of State Regulations require the Visa Applicant to appoint a Designated Agent who shall competently submit documents, facilitate proper and correct payments and ensure the integrity, validity and correctness of information provided.  The Designated Agent should also provide the visa applicant (as well as the derivative beneficiaries) with a comprehensive briefing on the current procedures the visa applicant/s would encounter at the U.S. Embassy.

If you need assistance with immigrant visa processing, please call the Immigrant Visa Center at +63917-509-8472.

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.

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