Visa bulletin-January 2017

FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED
     PREFERENCE CASES

On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); "C" means current, i.e., numbers are authorized for issuance to all qualified applicants; and "U" means unauthorized, i.e., numbers are not authorized for issuance. (NOTE: Numbers are authorized for issuance only for applicants whose priority date is earlierthan the final action date listed below.)

Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES 
F108JAN1008JAN1008JAN1022APR95 01OCT05
F2A22MAR1522MAR1522MAR1508MAR1522MAR15
F2B08JUN1008JUN1008JUN1015OCT9508APR06
F301MAR0501MAR0501MAR0515DEC9401SEP94
F422JAN0422NOV0315MAY0315MAY9708JUN93

*NOTE: For January, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 08MAR15. F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 08MAR15 and earlier than 22MAR15. All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit.

B.  DATES FOR FILING FAMILY-SPONSORED
     VISA APPLICATIONS

The chart below reflects dates for filing visa applications within a timeframe justifying immediate action in the application process. Applicants for immigrant visas who have a priority date earlier than the application date in the chart below may assemble and submit required documents to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, following receipt of notification from the National Visa Center containing detailed instructions. The application date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who cannot submit documentation to the National Visa Center for an immigrant visa. If a category is designated “current,” all applicants in the relevant category may file applications, regardless of priority date.

The “C” listing indicates that the category is current, and that applications may be filed regardless of the applicant’s priority date. The listing of a date for any category indicates that only applicants with a priority date which is earlier than the listed date may file their application.

Visit www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo for information on whether USCIS has determined that this chart can be used (in lieu of the chart in paragraph 4.A.) this month for filing applications for adjustment of status with USCIS. 

Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland 
born
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES 
F101JAN1101JAN1101JAN1101JUN9501MAY06
F2A22NOV1522NOV1522NOV15 22NOV15 22NOV15
F2B08FEB1108FEB1108FEB1101JUN9601FEB07
F322AUG0522AUG0522AUG0501MAY9501JAN95
F401JUL0401JUL0401MAY0401DEC9701APR94

5.  Section 203(b) of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of Employment-based immigrant visas as follows: 

EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES

First:  Priority Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.

Second:  Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.      

Third:  Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to "*Other Workers".

Fourth:  Certain Special Immigrants:  7.1% of the worldwide level.

Fifth:  Employment Creation:  7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of Pub. L. 102-395.

A.  FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED
     PREFERENCE CASES

On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); "C" means current, i.e., numbers are authorized for issuance to all qualified applicants; and "U" means unauthorized, i.e., numbers are not authorized for issuance. (NOTE: Numbers are authorized for issuance only for applicants whose priority date is earlierthan the final action date listed below.)

Employ-
ment
based
All Charge-
ability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland 
born
EL SALVADOR
GUATEMALA
HONDURAS
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
1stCCCCCC
2ndC15OCT12C15APR08CC
3rd01AUG16 08SEP1301AUG16 15MAR05 01AUG1622JUL11
Other Workers01AUG16 01DEC0501AUG16 15MAR0501AUG1622JUL11
4thCC15JUL15C15JUL15C
Certain Religious WorkersCC15JUL15C15JUL15C
5th
Non-Regional
Center
(C5 and T5)
C08APR14CCCC
5th
Regional
Center
(I5 and R5)
C08APR14CCCC

*Employment Third Preference Other Workers Category:  Section 203(e) of the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997, as amended by Section 1(e) of Pub. L. 105-139, provides that once the Employment Third Preference Other Worker (EW) cut-off date has reached the priority date of the latest EW petition approved prior to November 19, 1997, the 10,000 EW numbers available for a fiscal year are to be reduced by up to 5,000 annually beginning in the following fiscal year. This reduction is to be made for as long as necessary to offset adjustments under the NACARA program. Since the EW cut-off date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.

B.  DATES FOR FILING OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED
     VISA APPLICATIONS

The chart below reflects dates for filing visa applications within a timeframe justifying immediate action in the application process. Applicants for immigrant visas who have a priority date earlier than the application date in the chart may assemble and submit required documents to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, following receipt of notification from the National Visa Center containing detailed instructions. The application date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who cannot submit documentation to the National Visa Center for an immigrant visa. If a category is designated “current,” all applicants in the relevant category may file, regardless of priority date.

The “C” listing indicates that the category is current, and that applications may be filed regardless of the applicant’s priority date. The listing of a date for any category indicates that only applicants with a priority date which is earlier than the listed date may file their application.

Visit www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo for information on whether USCIS has determined that this chart can be used (in lieu of the chart in paragraph 5.A.) this month for filing applications for adjustment of status with USCIS. 
 

Employment-
based
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland 
born
INDIAMEXICO PHILIPPINES 
1stCCCCC
2ndC01MAR1322APR09 CC
3rdC01MAY1401JUL05C01SEP13
Other WorkersC01AUG0901JUL05C01SEP13
4thCCCCC
Certain Religious WorkersCCCCC
5th
Non-Regional
Center
(C5 and T5)
C15JUN14CCC
5th
Regional
Center
(I5 and R5)
C15JUN14CCC

6.  The Department of State has a recorded message with the cut-off date information for Final Application Action which can be heard at:  (202) 485-7699.  This recording is updated on or about the tenth of each month with information on final action dates for the following month.

SPECIAL IMMIGRANT (SI) TRANSLATOR CATEGORY VISA 
     AVAILABILITY

The Department expects to reach the FY-2017 annual limit of 50 Special Immigrant Visas in the SI category by the end of December 2016.  As a result, the final action date for the SI category has become “Unavailable” effective January 2017.  Further issuances in the SI category will not be possible until October 2017, under the FY-2018 annual limit.  The SQ Special Immigrant Visa category for certain Iraqi and Afghan nationals employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq or Afghanistan is not affected and remains current.

E.  EMPLOYMENT-BASED FOURTH (E4) AND CERTAIN RELIGIOUS 
     WORKERS (SR) PREFERENCE CATEGORY VISA AVAILABILITY

There continues to be high demand in the E4 and SR categories, primarily for Juvenile Court Dependent cases filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for adjustment of status.  Therefore, it may be necessary to retrogress the E4 and SR Final Action Dates for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico at some point in an effort to hold number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2017 annual limits.

F.  ANNUAL REPORT OF IMMIGRANT VISA APPLICANTS IN THE
    FAMILY-SPONSORED AND EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES
    REGISTERED AT THE NATIONAL VISA CENTER AS OF
    NOVEMBER 1, 2016

The National Visa Center has provided the totals of applicants who are registered in the various numerically-limited immigrant categories for processing at overseas posts. This information is available on the Consular Affairs www.travel.state.gov website. The direct link to the item is: 

https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Statistics/Immigrant-Statistics/WaitingListItem.pdf


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