Two Visa Categories Have Expired
The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for the month of January 2016 notes that the non-minister special immigrant program (SR visa, employment fourth preference) expired on December 11, 2015. No SR visas may be issued overseas or related final action taken on adjustment of status cases. Visas issued before this date are only issued with a validity date of December 10, 2015, and all individuals seeking admission as non-minister special immigrants must have been admitted into the U.S. by midnight December 10, 2015.
The immigrant investor pilot program (employment fifth preference categories I5 and R5) was extended through December 11, 2015. I5 and R5 visas were issued until the close of business on December 11, 2015, for the full validity period. No I5 or R5 visas may now be issued overseas or related final action taken on adjustment of status cases.
The cut-off dates for the categories mentioned above are “Unavailable” for January. Congress is considering an extension of the SR, I5, and R5 visa categories, but the Department of State notes that it is unclear when such legislative action may occur. If there is legislative action extending any of these categories for fiscal year 2016, those cut-off dates would immediately become “Current” for January for all countries except China-mainland born I5 and R5 categories, which would be subject to a January 8, 2014, cut-off date.