The May 2016 priority dates

The May 2016 priority dates

Each month, the Visa Office of the State Department publishes, in the Visa Bulletin, the priority dates for that particular month, for the various family and employment based categories. A priority date is a person’s “place in line” for a visa, meaning immigrant visas (or green cards) would be available for persons whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below. If your priority date was “current,” but later retrogressed (or “moved backwards” and became unavailable) before your immigrant visa was issued (or before you adjusted status in the U.S.), you would have to wait until it becomes current again.

Beginning last October 2015, the format of the Visa Bulletin changed, in that a new column was added, called the “Application Filing Date.” If a person’s priority date is earlier than the Application Filing Date, they can already file for adjustment of status and work authorization (provided they are otherwise eligible and USCIS indicates on its website it will use the Application Filing Date for that month). This could allow people to obtain work authorization much sooner than before, where they had to wait for the priority date to be current (in the Visa Issuance Date column) in order to both file for adjustment and be eligible for a green card.

The priority dates for the Philippines are as follows:

FAMILY CATEGORY Application Filing Date Visa Issuance Date
First Preference Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
(over 21 years of age)
September 1, 2005 October 1, 2004
Second Preference (2A) Spouse and minor children
(below 21 years old) of green card holder
June 15, 2015 November 1, 2014
(2B) Unmarried sons and daughters
(21 years old or older) of green card holder
May 1, 2005 May 1, 2005
Third Preference Married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens August 1, 1995 January 22, 1994
Fourth Preference Brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens. January 1, 1993 October 1, 1992


LABOR CERTIFICATION Application Filing Date Visa Issuance Date
Third Preference Professional/Skilled Workers January 1, 2010 August 8, 2008
Other workers Non-Skilled Workers January 1, 2010 August 8, 2008

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