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Fiscal Year 2012 H-2B Cap Count (updated July 17, 2012)

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As USCIS receives H-2B petitions for fiscal year 2012, the below chart will be regularly updated

Cap Type Cap Amount Beneficiaries Approved Beneficiaries Pending Target Beneficiaries Total Date of Last Count
FY 2012 33,000 26,679 1,819 51,000 28,498 7/13/2012
FY 2013 33,0002 308 305 0 613 7/13/2012

1   Refers to the estimated number of beneficiaries needed to be included on petitions filed with USCIS to reach the H-2B cap, with an allowance for withdrawals, denials and revocations.  This number will always be higher than the actual cap.

2 As noted, if the cap is not reached for the 1st half of the fiscal year, those numbers will be made available for use during the 2nd half of the fiscal year.  In some fiscal years, therefore, depending on demand for H-2B workers, more than 33,000 cap-subject persons may be granted H-2B status during the 2nd half of the fiscal year.

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Visa Bulletin For July 2012

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STATUTORY NUMBERS

1.  This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during July. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status.  Allocations were made, to the extent possible, in chronological order of reported priority dates, for demand received by June 8th. If not all demand could be satisfied, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed.  The cut-off date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits.  Only applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date may be allotted a number.  If it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a cut-off date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new cut-off date announced in this bulletin.

2. Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets an annual minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000.  The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000.  Section 202 prescribes that the per-country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,620.  The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,320.

3.  INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed.  Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal.  The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit.  These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas:  CHINA-mainland born, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.

4.  Section 203(a) of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of Family-sponsored immigrant visas as follows:

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.

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 available for all qualified applicants; and “U” means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available.  (NOTE:  Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.)

 

Family-Sponsored
All Charge-ability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 08JUL05 08JUL05 08JUL05 08JUN93 15JUL97
F2A 15FEB10 15FEB10 15FEB10 01FEB10 15FEB10
F2B 01MAY04 01MAY04 01MAY04 01JAN92 22DEC01
F3 15APR02 15APR02 15APR02 22JAN93 22JUL92
F4 22JAN01 08JAN01 22JAN01 08JUN96 01FEB89

*NOTE: For July, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01FEB10.  F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01FEB10 and earlier than 15FEB10.  (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.)

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.

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 available for all qualified applicants; and “U” means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available.  (NOTE:  Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.)

Employment- Based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd 01JAN09 U U 01JAN09 01JAN09
3rd 22JUL06 22SEP05 22SEP02 22JUL06 08JUN06
Other Workers 22JUL06 15JUN03 22SEP02 22JUL06 08JUN06
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
5th
Targeted
EmploymentAreas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs
C C C C C

*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.

6.  The Department of State has a recorded message with visa availability information which can be heard at:  (202) 663-1541.  This recording is updated on or about the tenth of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.

B.  DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY

Section 203(c) of the INA provides up to 55,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year to permit additional immigration opportunities for persons from countries with low admissions during the previous five years.  The NACARA stipulates that beginning with DV-99, and for as long as necessary, up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NACARA program.  This resulted in reduction of the DV-2012 annual limit to 50,000.  DV visas are divided among six geographic regions.  No one country can receive more than seven percent of the available diversity visas in any one year.

For July, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2012 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

Region All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately
AFRICA CURRENT
ASIA CURRENT
EUROPE CURRENT Except: Uzbekistan  17,700
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) CURRENT
OCEANIA CURRENT
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN CURRENT

Entitlement to immigrant status in the DV category lasts only through the end of the fiscal (visa) year for which the applicant is selected in the lottery.  The year of entitlement for all applicants registered for the DV-2012 program ends as of September 30, 2012.  DV visas may not be issued to DV-2012 applicants after that date.  Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2012 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2012.  DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2012 cannot be taken for granted.  Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.

C.  ADVANCE NOTIFICATION OF THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANK CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN AUGUST

For August, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2012 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

Region All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately
AFRICA CURRENT
ASIA CURRENT
EUROPE CURRENT
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) CURRENT
OCEANIA CURRENT
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN CURRENT

 

D.  EMPLOYMENT SECOND PREFERENCE VISA AVAILABILITY
Continued heavy demand for numbers in the Employment Second preference category has required the establishment of a Worldwide cut-off date for the month of July.  This action has been taken in an effort to hold number use within the annual numerical limit. Should there be an increase in the current demand pattern, it may be necessary to make this category completely “unavailable” prior to September 30, 2012.

The China and India Employment Second preference categories are already “unavailable”, and will remain so for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Visa Bulletin For June 2012

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STATUTORY NUMBERS

1.  This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during June. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status.  Allocations were made, to the extent possible, in chronological order of reported priority dates, for demand received by May 8th. If not all demand could be satisfied, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed.  The cut-off date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits.  Only applicants who have a priority dateearlier than the cut-off date may be allotted a number.  If it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a cut-off date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new cut-off date announced in this bulletin.

2. Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets an annual minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000.  The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000.  Section 202 prescribes that the per-country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,620.  The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,320.

3.  INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed.  Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal.  The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit.  These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas:  CHINA-mainland born, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.

4.  Section 203(a) of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of Family-sponsored immigrant visas as follows:         

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.

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 available for all qualified applicants; and “U” means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available.  (NOTE:  Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.)

Family-Sponsored
All Charge-ability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 22JUN05 22JUN05 22JUN05 15MAY93 01JUL97
F2A 01JAN10 01JAN10 01JAN10 08DEC09 01JAN10
F2B 15APR04 15APR04 15APR04 01JAN92 08DEC01
F3 01APR02 01APR02 01APR02 15JAN93 22JUL92
F4 08JAN01 15DEC00 08JAN01 01JUN96 22JAN89

*NOTE:  For June, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 08DEC09.  F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 08DEC09 and earlier than 01JAN10.  (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.)

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.

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 available for all qualified applicants; and “U” means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available.  (NOTE:  Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.)

Employment- Based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C U U C C
3rd 08JUN06 08AUG05 15SEP02 08JUN06 22MAY06
Other Workers 08JUN06 22APR03 15SEP02 08JUN06 22MAY06
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
5th
Targeted
EmploymentAreas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs
C C C C C

*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.

6.  The Department of State has a recorded message with visa availability information which can be heard at:  (202) 663-1541.  This recording is updated on or about the tenth of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.

B. DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY

Section 203(c) of the INA provides up to 55,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year to permit additional immigration opportunities for persons from countries with low admissions during the previous five years. The NACARA stipulates that beginning with DV-99, and for as long as necessary, up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NACARA program. This resulted in reduction of the DV-2012 annual limit to 50,000. DV visas are divided among six geographic regions. No one country can receive more than seven percent of the available diversity visas in any one year.

For June, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2012 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

Region All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately
AFRICA CURRENT
ASIA CURRENT
EUROPE CURRENT Except: Uzbekistan  17,050
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) CURRENT
OCEANIA CURRENT
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN CURRENT

Entitlement to immigrant status in the DV category lasts only through the end of the fiscal (visa) year for which the applicant is selected in the lottery. The year of entitlement for all applicants registered for the DV-2012 program ends as of September 30, 2012. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2012 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2012 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2012. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2012 cannot be taken for granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.

C. ADVANCE NOTIFICATION OF THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANK CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN JULY

For July, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2012 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

 

Region All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately
AFRICA CURRENT
ASIA CURRENT
EUROPE CURRENT Except: Uzbekistan 17,700
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) CURRENT
OCEANIA CURRENT
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN CURRENT

 

D.  CHINA-MAINLAND AND INDIA EMPLOYMENT SECOND PREFERENCE CATEGORY IS UNAVAILABLE

Despite the retrogression of the China and India Employment Second preference cut-off date to August 15, 2007, demand for numbers by applicants with priority dates earlier than that date remained excessive.  Such demand is primarily based on cases which had originally been filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for adjustment of status in the Employment Third preference category, and are now eligible to be upgraded to Employment Second preference status.  The potential amount of such “upgrade” demand is not currently being reported, but it was evident that the continued availability of Employment Second preference numbers for countries other than China and India was being jeopardized.  Therefore, it was necessary to make the China and India Employment Second preference category “Unavailable” in early April, and it will remain so for the remainder of FY-2012.

Numbers will once again be available for China and India Employment Second preference cases beginning October 1, 2012 under the FY-2013 annual numerical limitations. Every effort will be made to return the China and India Employment Second preference cut-off date to the May 1, 2010 date which had been reached in April 2012.  Readers should be advised that it is impossible to accurately estimate how long that may take, but current indications are that it would definitely not occur before spring 2013.

USCIS has indicated that it will continue accepting China and India Employment Second preference I-485 filings during May, based on the originally announced May cut-off date.

E.  EMPLOYMENT FIRST AND SECOND PREFERENCE VISA AVAILABILITY

Item F of the May Visa Bulletin (number 44) provided projections regarding visa availability in the coming months.  Information received from the USCIS after the publication of that item requires an update in the projections for the Employment First and Second preference categories.

Employment First:  Based on the current rate of demand, it may be necessary to establish a cut-off date at the end of the fiscal year in an effort to limit number use within the annual numerical limit.  

Employment Second:  Based on the current rate of demand, it may be necessary to establish a cut-off date for this category for all countries other than China and India.  Such action may be required at any time during the next few months.

Please be advised that the above are only estimates for what could happen during the next few months based on applicant demand patterns experienced in recent months.

F.  DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY 2013 (DV-2013) RESULTS

The Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, Kentucky has registered and notified the winners of the DV-2013 diversity lottery.  The diversity lottery was conducted under the terms of section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and makes available *50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.  Approximately105,628 applicants have been registered. Applicants may check the status of their entry using the confirmation number through Entrant Status Check on the websitewww.dvlottery.state.gov. Entrants selected may make an application for an immigrant visa. Since it is likely that some of the first *50,000 persons registered will not pursue their cases to visa issuance, this larger figure should insure that all DV-2013 numbers will be used during fiscal year 2013 (October 1, 2012 until September 30, 2013).

Applicants registered for the DV-2013 program were selected at random from7,941,400 qualified entries (12,577,463 with derivatives) received during the 30-day application period that ran from noon, Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday, October 4, 2011, until noon, Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday, November 5, 2011.  The visas have been apportioned among six geographic regions with a maximum of seven percent available to persons born in any single country.  During the visa interview, principal applicants must provide proof of a high school education or its equivalent, or show two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience within the past five years.  Those selected will need to act on their immigrant visa applications quickly.  Applicants should follow the instructions provided on the website www.dvlottery.state.gov.

Registrants living legally in the United States who wish to apply for adjustment of their status must contact the USCIS for information on the requirements and procedures.  Once the total *50,000 visa numbers have been used, the program for fiscal year 2013 will end.  Selected applicants who do not receive visas by September 30, 2013 will derive no further benefit from their DV-2013 registration.  Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2013 principal applicants are only entitled to derivative diversity visa status until September 30, 2013.

Dates for the DV-2014 program registration period will be widely publicized in the coming months.  Those interested in entering the DV-2014 program should check the Department of State’s Visa web page for more details in September.

* The Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress

in November 1997 stipulated that up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas be made available for use under the NACARA program.  The reduction of the limit of available visas to 50,000 began with DV-2000.

The following is the statistical breakdown by foreign-state chargeability of those registered for the DV-2013 program:

AFRICA
ALGERIA 2,161 GABON 38 SAO TOME & PRINCIPE 0
ANGOLA 47 GAMBIA, THE 85 SENEGAL 394
BENIN 809 GHANA 5,105 SEYCHELLES 0
BOTSWANA 18 GUINEA 1,350 SIERRA LEONE 2,516
BURKINA FASO 296 GUINEA-BISSAU 25 SOMALIA 197
BURUNDI 94 KENYA 4,410 SOUTH AFRICA 956
CAMEROON 3,858 LESOTHO 6 SOUTH SUDAN 5
CAPE VERDE 25 LIBERIA 1,916 SUDAN 747
CENTRAL AFRICAN REP. 18 LIBYA 138 SWAZILAND 3
CHAD 28 MADAGASCAR 40 TANZANIA 150
COMOROS 8 MALAWI 29 TOGO 1,065
CONGO 156 MALI 80 TUNISIA 145
CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE 3,924 MAURITANIA 31 UGANDA 513
COTE D’IVOIRE 805 MAURITIUS 67 ZAMBIA 87
DJIBOUTI 79 MOROCCO 2,068 ZIMBABWE 169
EGYPT 5,015 MOZAMBIQUE 10
EQUATORIAL GUINEA 19 NAMIBIA 21
ERITREA 804 NIGER 53
ETHIOPIA 4,910 NIGERIA 6,218
RWANDA 369
ASIA
AFGHANISTAN 128 ISRAEL 175 OMAN 10
BAHRAIN 15 JAPAN 440 QATAR 24
BHUTAN 4 JORDAN 251 SAUDI ARABIA 287
BRUNEI 8 NORTH KOREA 0 SINGAPORE 31
BURMA 403 KUWAIT 137 SRI LANKA 802
CAMBODIA 986 LAOS 1 SYRIA 170
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMIN.REGION 92 LEBANON 269 TAIWAN 360
INDONESIA 215 MALAYSIA 67 THAILAND 75
IRAN 6,029 MALDIVES 0 TIMOR-LESTE 1
IRAQ 164 MONGOLIA 167 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 98
NEPAL 4,370 YEMEN 266
EUROPE
ALBANIA 1,520 GERMANY 1,253 NORTHERN IRELAND 45
ANDORRA 0 GREECE 99 NORWAY 50
ARMENIA 1,174 HUNGARY 246 POLAND 2,038
AUSTRIA 108 ICELAND 38 PORTUGAL 40
AZERBAIJAN 373 IRELAND 138   Macau 2
BELARUS 1,195 ITALY 396 ROMANIA 711
BELGIUM 79 KAZAKHSTAN 533 RUSSIA 2,846
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA 54 KOSOVO 183 SAN MARINO 0
BULGARIA 1,299 KYRGYZSTAN 237 SERBIA 303
CROATIA 75 LATVIA 140 SLOVAKIA 100
CYPRUS 10 LIECHTENSTEIN 0 SLOVENIA 5
CZECH REPUBLIC 73 LITHUANIA 248 SPAIN 196
DENMARK 77 LUXEMBOURG 4 SWEDEN 162
  Faroe Islands 9 MACEDONIA 262 SWITZERLAND 131
ESTONIA 47 MALTA 4 TAJIKISTAN 330
FINLAND 72 MOLDOVA 1,330 TURKEY 1,807
FRANCE 549 MONACO 3 TURKMENISTAN 94
  French Polynesia 11 MONTENEGRO 11 UKRAINE 6,424
  New Caledonia 0 NETHERLANDS 109 UZBEKISTAN 5,101
  Saint Barthelemy 4   Aruba 8 VATICAN CITY 0
GEORGIA 723   Curacao 7
  Sint Maarten 2
NORTH AMERICA
BAHAMAS, THE 16
OCEANIA
AUSTRALIA 1,035 NAURU 14 TONGA 91
  Christmas Islands 0 NEW ZEALAND 373 TUVALU 3
  Cocos Island 2   Cook Islands 0 VANUATU 5
  Norfolk Island 4   Niue 7 WESTERN SAMOA 30
FIJI 597   Tokelau 7
KIRIBATI 5 PALAU 1
MARSHALL ISLANDS 0 PAPUA NEW GUINEA 18
MICRONESIA, FEDERATED STATES OF 1 SAMOA 0
SOLOMON ISLANDS 0
SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, AND THE CARIBBEAN
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA 3 DOMINICA 17 SAINT LUCIA 19
ARGENTINA 117 GRENADA 18 VINCENT & THE GRENADINES 14
BARBADOS 5 GUYANA 43 SURINAME 4
BELIZE 22 HONDURAS 90 TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 137
BOLIVIA 74 NICARAGUA 65 URUGUAY 15
CHILE 42 PANAMA 31 VENEZUELA 924
COSTA RICA 63 PARAGUAY 8
CUBA 490 SAINT KITTS & NEVIS 5

Natives of the following countries were not eligible to participate in DV-2013:  Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born, excluding Hong Kong S.A.R., Macau S.A.R., and Taiwan), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

 

USCIS collected $1.757 billion in fees and processed 6.592 million forms in 2011

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As a Congressionally-mandated self-funded fee-based agency, USCIS collects immigration-related applications and fees through several channels, including through its field offices (Service Centers and District and Field Offices), e-filing, and the Lockbox facilities provided through the Department of Treasury.

In 2001, USCIS first began using a Lockbox facility to collect a portion of its revenues.  From 2001 to 2007, USCIS transferred additional fee-based applications into Lockbox facilities. In 2007, USCIS established the Lockbox Expansion Project to migrate the intake function for fee-based immigration forms to a lockbox environment.  At its completion in early 2011, this expansion transitioned the intake of almost all applications and fees out of the USCIS field offices and into a centralized processing environment.  The following table depicts form and fee volumes processed by the Lockbox facilities from FY 2008 through FY 2011.

Fiscal Year Forms Processed* Fees Collected
2008 3.152 million $702.9 million
2009 4.352 million $1.139 billion
2010 6.265 million $1.600 billion
2011 6.592 million $1.757 billion

*These totals include non-benefit requests such as G-28, I-797, Labor Certificates, etc.

Written by MithrasLaw

May 3, 2012 at 6:00 am

AAO Processing Times (updated May 01, 2012)

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This chart shows the average amount of time it takes to receive a decision in a particular type of case after the case file is received by the AAO. Processing times are directly related to the volume of cases received.

AAO Processing Times as of April 1, 2012

Form Number

Case Type

Time

I-129F Petition for Fiancée

Current

I-129 H1B Nonimmigrant  Specialty  Occupation  Worker

20 Months

I-129  H2 Temporary  Nonimmigrant  Worker

 Current

I-129  H3 Temporary  Nonimmigrant  Worker

Current

I-129  L Nonimmigrant  Intracompany  Transferee

22 Months

I-129  O Nonimmigrant  Extraordinary  Ability  Worker

Current

I-129  P1,  P2,  P3 Athletes,  Artists  and  Entertainers

Current

I-129  Q Cultural  Exchange  Visitor

Current

I-129  R N/I  Religious  Worker

Current

I-131 Application  for  Travel  Document

Current

I-140  EB1 (A) Alien  with  Extraordinary  Ability

15 Months

I-140  EB1 (B) Outstanding  Professor  or  Researcher

     13 Months*  

I-140  EB1 (C) Multinational  Manager  or  Executive

21 Months

I-140  EB2 (D) Advanced Degree  Professional

23 Months

I-140  EB2 (I) National Interest Waiver

Current

I-140  EB3 (E) Skilled  or  Professional  Worker

36 Months

I-140  EB3 (G) Other  Worker

Current

I-212 Application to Reapply  for  Admission

Current

I-352 Bond  Breach

Current

I-360  EB4 Petition  for  Religious  Worker

16 Months

I-360  C Special  Immigrant  Juvenile

Current

I-360 K Special Immigrant Afghanistan or Iraq National Translator Current
I-360  VAWA Violence  Against  Women  Act  Petition

Current

I-485 Cuban  Adjustment  Act  Application

Current

I-485 LIFE  Act  Adjustment  Application

Current

I-485 Section  13  Adjustment  Application

 Current

I-526  EB5 Alien  Entrepreneur

Current

I-600 Petition  for  Orphan

Current

I-601 Application  for  Waiver  of  Inadmissibility

25 Months

I-612 Application  for  212(e)  Waiver

Current

I-687 Legalization  Application  for  Temporary  Residence

Current

I-690 Legalization/SAW -Waive Grounds of Excludability

Current

I-698 Legalization  Adjustment  Application

Current

I-700 Special  Agricultural  Worker

Current

I-821 Temporary  Protected  Status

Current

I-905 Application to Issue  Cert  for  Health  Care  Workers

Current

I-914 Application  for  T  Nonimmigrant  Status

Current

I-918 Petition  for  U  Nonimmigrant  Status

Current

N-470 Application to Preserve  Residence

Current

N-565 Replacement  Naturalization/Citizenship Doc

Current

N-600 Certificate  of  Citizenship

Current

N-643 Certificate  of  Citizenship  for  Adopted  Child

Current

*  Within  current  USCIS  processing  time  goal  of  six  months  or  less

Visa Bulletin For May 2012

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STATUTORY NUMBERS

1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during May. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status. Allocations were made, to the extent possible, in chronological order of reported priority dates, for demand received by April 6th.  If not all demand could be satisfied, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed. The cut-off date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits. Only applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date may be allotted a number. If it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a cut-off date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new cut-off date announced in this bulletin.

2. Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets an annual minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000. The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000. Section 202 prescribes that the per-country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,620. The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,320.

3. INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed. Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal. The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit. These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas: CHINA-mainland born, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.

4. Section 203(a) of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of Family-sponsored immigrant visas as follows:

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.

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 available for all qualified applicants; and “U” means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available. (NOTE: Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date isearlier than the cut-off date listed below.)

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 01MAY05 01MAY05 01MAY05 15MAY93 01JUL97
F2A 15NOV09 15NOV09 15NOV09 15OCT09 15NOV09
F2B 22FEB04 22FEB04 22FEB04 01DEC92 08DEC01
F3 08MAR02 08MAR02 08MAR02 15JAN93 22JUL92
F4 01DEC00 22NOV00 01DEC00 01JUN96 22JAN89

*NOTE:  For May, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 15OCT09.  F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 15OCT09 and earlier than 15NOV09.  (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.)

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.

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 available for all qualified applicants; and “U” means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available. (NOTE: Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date isearlier than the cut-off date listed below.)

Employment- Based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C 15AUG07 15AUG07 C C
3rd 01MAY06 01APR05 08SEP02 01MAY06 01MAY06
Other Workers 01MAY06 22APR03 08SEP02 01MAY06 01MAY06
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
5th
Targeted
EmploymentAreas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs
C C C C C

*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.

6. The Department of State has a recorded message with visa availability information which can be heard at: (202) 663-1541. This recording is updated on or about the tenth of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.

B. DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY

Section 203(c) of the INA provides up to 55,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year to permit additional immigration opportunities for persons from countries with low admissions during the previous five years. The NACARA stipulates that beginning with DV-99, and for as long as necessary, up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NACARA program. This resulted in reduction of the DV-2012 annual limit to 50,000. DV visas are divided among six geographic regions. No one country can receive more than seven percent of the available diversity visas in any one year.

For May, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2012 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

Region All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately
AFRICA 50,000 Except: Egypt  33,000
Ethiopia  33,000
Nigeria 25,000
ASIA 40,500
EUROPE 40,000 Except: Uzbekistan 16,500
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 10
OCEANIA 1,150
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 1,150

Entitlement to immigrant status in the DV category lasts only through the end of the fiscal (visa) year for which the applicant is selected in the lottery. The year of entitlement for all applicants registered for the DV-2012 program ends as of September 30, 2012. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2012 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2012 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2012. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2012 cannot be taken for granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.

C. ADVANCE NOTIFICATION OF THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANK CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN JUNE

For JUNE, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2012 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

Region All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately
AFRICA CURRENT
ASIA CURRENT
EUROPE CURRENT Except: Uzbekistan 17,050
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) CURRENT
OCEANIA CURRENT
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN CURRENT

D.  RETROGRESSION OF THE CHINA-MAINLAND AND INDIA EMPLOYMENT SECOND PREFERENCE CUT-OFF DATE

Due to the rapid forward movement of the cut-off date, demand for China and India Employment Second preference numbers has increased dramatically during recent months, and at a much faster rate than had been expected.  Therefore, it has been necessary to retrogress that cut-off date to August 15, 2007 in an attempt to hold number use within the annual limit while maintaining availability for those countries that have not yet reached their per-country limit.  Notices were included in the November, January, and February Visa Bulletins alerting readers to the possibility of such a retrogression.  While corrective action has become necessary earlier than was anticipated based on the information available at the time cut-off dates were determined, it is hoped that readers are not caught off guard by this retrogression.

Should additional information regarding potential demand become available, it may be necessary to take additional corrective action at any time.

Every effort will be made to return the China and India Employment Second preference cut-off date to the previously announced April date of May 1, 2010.  This will be done as quickly as possible under the FY-2013 annual limits, which take effect October 1, 2012.  It will not be possible to speculate on the cut-off date which may apply at that time until late summer.

USCIS has indicated that it will continue accepting China and India Employment Second preference I-485 filings based on the originally announced April cut-off date.

E. IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR DIVERSITY VISA (DV)2012 ENTRANTS

Successful entrants are encouraged to send in their required documents to the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) immediately, so that an interview appointment at the appropriate U.S. Embassy or consulate can be scheduled in the near future.  In order for an appointment to be scheduled with either a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, entrants must first submit the Form DSP-122 and Form DS-230 to KCC.  Embassies and Consulates only have a limited number of appointments each month, including September, for DV applicants, so it is vital that successful entrants mail these documents to KCC very soon. There is no guarantee that a successful entrant who submits all of the required documentation to KCC will either be given an appointment or issued a DV.

There are several reasons why successful entrants should submit their documents to KCC now.  First, there are 50,000 DVs available for DV-2012.  Once all of the 50,000 DV visas have been issued for DV 2012, the program will end.  In addition, because no more than 3,500 individuals from a single country may receive DVs in a given year, once 3,500 from an individual country have received a DV, other selectees from that country will no longer be eligible to receive a DV.  Finally, U.S. Embassies and Consulates only have six months left to issue visas to eligible applicants in the DV 2012 program.  Successful entrants cannot be issued a DV after September 30, 2012.  Participants are reminded to check the status of their DV entry through Entrant Status Check www.dvlottery.state.gov, using the confirmation numbers they received when they initially submitted their applications.
F. VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS

FAMILY-sponsored categories (monthly)

Worldwide dates:

F1: four to six weeks
F2A: up to two and one half months
F2B: three to six weeks
F3: three to six weeks
F4: three to five weeks

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (monthly)

Employment First:  Current

Employment Second:

Worldwide:  Potential need for cut-off date to be established

China and India:  Potentially “Unavailable”

Employment Third:

Worldwide: three to five weeks
China: up to six weeks
India: up to two weeks
Mexico: three to five weeks
Philippines: three to five weeks

Employment Fourth:  Current

Employment Fifth:  Current

Please be advised that the above ranges are only estimates for what could happen during each of the next few months based on current applicant demand patterns.  The determination of the actual monthly cut-off dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand which can occur at any time.  Those categories with a “Current” projection will remain so for the foreseeable future.

 

Fiscal Year 2013 H-1B Cap Count Update (updated April 17, 2012)

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As of April 13, 2012, approximately 20,600 H-1B cap-subject petitions were receipted. Additionally, USCIS has receipted 9,700 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees.

USCIS Continues to accept FY 2013 H-1B petitions and our office is continuing to help clients file H-1B petitions. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or help in filing an H-1B.

Cap Eligible Petitions: This is the number of petitions that USCIS has accepted for this particular type of cap. It includes cases that have been approved or are still pending. It does not include petitions that have been denied. Petition Target: This is the number of petitions that USCIS projects it will need for the cap to be met. Cap Amounts: The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. Not all H-1B nonimmigrants are subject to this annual cap. Please note that up to 6,800 visas may be set aside from the cap of 65,000 during each fiscal year for the H-1B1 program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreements. Unused numbers in this pool are made available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year.

Written by MithrasLaw

April 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm

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