December 2016 Visa Bulletin Published

The December 2016 Visa Bulletin has been released by the U.S. Department of State. View the December Visa Bulletin here. The visa bulletin is published monthly, usually about 2 weeks in advance of the next month. The dates listed in the bulletin are current priority dates for the various visa categories. Further, the individual priority date appears on the receipt notices and the approval notice for the visa petition.

Why is there a backlog of employment-based permanent resident visas in the December 2016 visa bulletin?

First, there are a limited number of employment-based immigrant visas (“green cards”) available each year, and they are divided between several different preference categories. The worldwide level for employment-based preference immigrants each year is 140,000. Further, each sending country can account for no more than 7% of that 140,000.

The backlog occurs when there are more qualified applications for a preference category than there are available visa numbers. Therefore, the backlog results in a long, unpredictable wait for permanent resident status for many individuals.

December 2016 Visa Bulletin