Visa Bulletin September 2017: EB-3 India moved into late 2006

India: As with China, India EB-1 now is retrogressed. It is expected that this EB-1 retrogression will last until October 2017. 

EB-2 India moved ahead by a month. EB-3 India jumped into late 2006, which was a pleasant surprise. The DOS is clearly trying to ensure that all visa numbers are used in FY2016. 

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES

First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:  23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:  114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:

A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents:  77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents:  23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:  23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens:  65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

A.  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 
F101MAY1001MAY1001MAY1001FEB9601JAN07
F2A01OCT1501OCT1501OCT1522SEP1501OCT15
F2B01NOV1001NOV1001NOV10 01JUL9601JAN07
F308JUL0508JUL0508JUL0508APR95 15FEB95
F401JAN0201JAN0201JAN0215SEP9701JUN94
22MAR05
22MAR05

*NOTE: For September, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 22SEP15. F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 22SEP15 and earlier than 01OCT15. 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 
F122JUL1122JUL1122JUL1101APR9608SEP07
F2A08APR1608APR1608APR16 08APR16 08APR16
F2B01SEP1101SEP1101SEP1108AUG9622JUL07
F301DEC0501DEC0501DEC0501MAY9501MAR95
F415NOV0415NOV0422JUN0408JAN9808FEB95

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
1stC01JAN12C01JAN12CC
2nd01JAN16 15MAY1301JAN1622AUG0801JAN1601JAN16
3rdC01JAN12C15OCT06 01NOV15
Other WorkersC01JAN0415OCT0601NOV15
4thCC22OCT15 22OCT1522OCT15 C
Certain Religious WorkersCC22OCT1522OCT15 22OCT15C
5th
Non-Regional
Center
(C5 and T5)
C15JUN14CCCC
5th
Regional
Center
(I5 and R5)
C15JUN14CCCC

*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
2ndC01OCT1301FEB09 CC
3rdC01SEP1501JAN07C01JAN16
Other WorkersC01JUN0801JAN07C01JAN16
4thCCCCC
Certain Religious WorkersCCCCC
5th
Non-Regional
Center
(C5 and T5)
C01SEP14CCC
5th
Regional
Center
(I5 and R5)
C01SEP14CCC

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.


RETROGRESSION OF FAMILY PREFERENCE FINAL ACTION DATES

Family First Preference (F1):  Worldwide, China, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, and Honduras:  The continued high level of demand for F1 preference numbers has required the retrogression of the final action date for the month of September.  This action has been taken in an attempt to hold number use within the Worldwide F1 annual limit.  The final action date for these countries will return to December 22, 2010 for October, the first month of fiscal year 2018.

Family Fourth Preference (F4):  Worldwide, China, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, and Honduras:  The continued high level of demand for F4 preference numbers has required the retrogression of the final action date for the month of September.  This action has been taken in an attempt to hold number use within the Worldwide F4 annual limit.  When the final action dates for these countries are announced for October, the first month of fiscal year 2018, they will be returned to the final action dates which had been established for August.

Please Note:  Applicants entitled to immigrant status become documentarily qualified at their own initiative and convenience. By no means has every applicant with a priority date earlier than a prevailing final action date been processed for final visa action.  On the contrary, visa allotments are made only on the basis of the total applicants reported documentarily qualified each month, compared with the amount of available numbers.  For example, during the past month, over 12,000 applicants who became documentarily qualified in the Family preference categories have priority dates earlier than the final action dates established for August.  Such demand for visa numbers can fluctuate from month to month, with the inevitable impact on final action dates. 

E.  DETERMINATION OF THE NUMERICAL LIMITS ON IMMIGRANTS
     REQUIRED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE IMMIGRATION AND 
     NATIONALITY ACT (INA)

The State Department is required to make a determination of the worldwide numerical limitations, as outlined in Section 201(c) and (d) of the INA, on an annual basis.  These calculations are based in part on data provided by U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding the number of immediate relative adjustments in the preceding year and the number of aliens paroled into the United States under Section 212(d)(5) in the second preceding year.  Without this information, it is impossible to make an official determination of the annual limits.  To avoid delays in processing while waiting for the USCIS data, the Visa Office (VO) bases allocations on the minimum annual limits outlined in Section 201 of the INA. On July 31st, USCIS provided the required data to VO.

The Department of State has determined the Family and Employment preference numerical limits for FY-2017 in accordance with the terms of Section 201 of the INA.  These numerical limitations for FY-2017 are as follows:

Worldwide Family-Sponsored preference limit:    226,000
Worldwide Employment-Based preference limit:  140,000

Under INA Section 202(a), the per-country limit is fixed at 7% of the family and employment annual limits.  For FY-2017 the per-country limit is 25,620.  The dependent area annual limit is 2%, or 7,320.

F.  REPORTING CHANGES OF ADDRESS FOR CASES BEING
     PROCESSED OVERSEAS

All readers should be aware that any change of address for applicants processing their case overseas should always be reported to the National Visa Center (NVC). For faster processing, please provide an email address where NVC can contact you about your case. It is essential that NVC have the correct address so they can send information regarding the processing of the case to the applicant.

When contacting NVC directly about an immigrant visa petition, alwaysinclude the following information:

  • NVC case number or USCIS receipt number
  • Principal applicant’s name 
  • Principal applicant's date of birth
  • Petitioner’s name

Email (Preferred)

Email is NVC’s preferred method of communication. You may email questions to NVC by using the online Public Inquiry Form located at: https://nvc.state.gov/ask

Telephone

(603) 334-0700. Customer Service Representatives can speak with you Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to Midnight (Eastern Time), excluding holidays.

Postal Mail

You can mail NVC letters to the following address:

National Visa Center
Attn: WC
31 Rochester Avenue, Suite 200
Portsmouth, NH  03801-2915

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