Visa Bulletin, July 2016

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.  APPLICATION 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 cut-off date listed below.)

Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland 
born
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES 
F122MAR0922MAR0922MAR0908MAR9501FEB05
F2A15NOV1415NOV1415NOV1401SEP1415NOV14
F2B08DEC0908DEC0908DEC0908SEP9501JUL05
F301DEC0401DEC0401DEC0422OCT9401MAR94
F408SEP0301JAN0301JAN0115APR9701JAN93

*NOTE: For July, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01SEP14. F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01SEP14 and earlier than 15NOV14. (All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no F2A numbers for MEXICO subject to 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 cut-off 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 cut-off 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 isearlier 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 
F101OCT0901OCT0901OCT0901APR9501SEP05
F2A15OCT1515OCT1515OCT1515OCT1515OCT15
F2B15DEC1015DEC1015DEC1015MAY9601JAN06
F301AUG0501AUG0501AUG0501MAY9501AUG95
F401MAY0401MAY0401MAY0401JUN9801APR93

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.  APPLICATION 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 cut-off date listed below.)

Employ-
ment
based
All Charge-
ability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland 
born
EL SALVADOR
GUATEMALA
HONDURAS
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
1stCCCCCC
2ndC01JAN10C01NOV04CC
3rd01MAR1601JAN1001MAR1622OCT0401MAR1615FEB09
Other Workers01MAR1601JAN0401MAR1622OCT0401MAR1615FEB09
4thCC01JAN10C01JAN10C
Certain Religious WorkersCC01JAN10C01JAN10C
5th
Non-Regional
Center
(C5 and T5)
C15FEB14CCCC
5th
Regional
Center
(I5 and R5)
C15FEB14CCCC

*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 cut-off 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 cut-off 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 isearlier 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
INDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES 
1stCCCCC
2ndC01JUN1301JUL09CC
3rdC01MAY1501JUL05C01JAN10
Other WorkersC01AUG0901JUL05C01JAN10
4thCCCCC
Certain Religious WorkersCCCCC
5th
Non-Regional
Center
(C5 and T5)
C01MAY15CCC
5th
Regional
Center
(I5 and R5)
C01MAY15CCC

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 cut-off dates for the following month.

 OVERSUBSCRIPTION OF THE MEXICO EMPLOYMENT-BASED
     FOURTH (E4) AND CERTAIN RELIGIOUS WORKERS (SR)
     PREFERENCE CATEGORIES

As readers were advised in the May Visa Bulletin number 92, there has been extremely 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. Pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, this has now required the implementation of E4 and SR Application Final Action Dates for Mexico, which has reached its per-country limit.  This action will allow the Department to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2016 annual limits. 

E.  VISA AVAILABILITY FOR THOSE COUNTRIES WHICH ARE,
     OR WILL BE, SUBJECT TO A FINAL ACTION DATE IN
     THE EMPLOYMENT-BASED FOURTH (E4) AND CERTAIN
     RELIGIOUS WORKERS (SR) PREFERENCE CATEGORIES 

INA Section 202 sets an annual per-country limitation for preference immigrants of 7 percent of the worldwide level, to avoid monopolization of the annual limit by applicants from only a few countries. 

INA Section 202(a)(5)(A) provides that if total demand will be insufficient to use all available numbers in an Employment preference during a calendar quarter, then the otherwise unused numbers may be made available in that preference without regard to the per-country limits.  This provision helps to assure that all available Employment preference numbers may be used.  Through late winter, this provision allowed countries with demand in excess of their normal per-country limit to utilize numbers that would have otherwise gone unused.  Those countries were El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

By April, the level of worldwide Employment Fourth preference demand had increased to the point where there was sufficient demand to fully utilize the FY-2016 worldwide preference limit.  It therefore became necessary to impose a final action date on those countries which had already reached their per-country limit, followed by those which would reach their limit in the coming months. 

Readers should be aware that the establishment of the Employment Fourth preference  Final Action date of January 1, 2010 does not mean that applicants are now subject to a wait in excess of six years.  That Final Action Date is intended only to stop any further use of numbers by applicants from those countries under the FY-2016 annual limit, not to indicate how long it will be before applicants will be eligible for final action.  

What are the Employment Fourth Final Action Dates likely to be for October when the FY-2017 annual limits take effect?

Mexico: The Employment Fourth Preference category will become CURRENT for October.

El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras:  A determination regarding the final action date(s) which may be required for these countries cannot be made at this time.   Demand versus availability of numbers for these countries will be continuously monitored throughout the coming months, and official determination will be made in early September.  Based on current indications which are very much subject to change, it is anticipated that the Final Action Date(s) for these three countries will be a date in 2015.

F.  VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS

FAMILY-sponsored categories (August and September)

Worldwide dates:  
F1:  Up to two months
F2A: One or two weeks
F2B: Four to six weeks
F3:  Up to two weeks
F4:  Up to one month

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (August and September)

Employment First:  Current for most.

China and India:   A date will be established no later than September. Will
                           return to “Current” status for October.  

Employment Second: 
Worldwide:  Date likely to be imposed by September. Will return to “Current”
                  status for October.      

China:         No forward movement. 

India:          One week beyond India EB-3.

Employment Third:
Worldwide:  Up to one month.  

China:         No forward movement.           

India:          Indications are that there will be “otherwise” unused numbers
                  available under the Worldwide limit.  This should allow
                  the September date to reach early 2005. 

Mexico:        Worldwide date for the foreseeable future. 

Philippines:   Likely to reach late 2009, possibly early 2010.     

Employment Fourth: Current for most.

El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico will be subject to the January 1, 2010 Final Action Date through September. That date will be applied to India in August.

El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are expected to have a 2015 Final Action Date(s) for October.

India and Mexico:  Will return to “Current” status for October.

Employment Fifth:  Current for all but China. 

China:           Best case scenario is March 1st by September. Slow forward
                    movement for October and beyond.


The above projections for the Family and Employment categories indicate what is likely to happen on a monthly basis based on current applicant demand patterns.  Readers should never assume that recent trends in Final Action Date movements are guaranteed for the future, or that "corrective" action will not be required at some point during the year in an effort to maintain number use within the applicable annual limits.  The determination of the actual monthly Final Action Dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables. 

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