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Visa Bulletin For October 2012

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STATUTORY NUMBERS

1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during October. 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 September 10th. 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 08OCT05 08OCT05 08OCT05 15JUN93 01APR96
F2A 01JUN10 01JUN10 01JUN10 15MAY10 01JUN10
F2B 15SEP04 15SEP04 15SEP04 01OCT92 22JAN02
F3 22MAY02 22MAY02 22MAY02 08FEB93 22JUL92
F4 15MAR01 15FEB01 15MAR01 22JUN96 08FEB89

*NOTE:  For October, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 15MAY10.  F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 15MAY10 and earlier than 01JUN10.  (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 01JAN12 15JUL07 01SEP04 01JAN12 01JAN12
3rd 22OCT06 08FEB06 15OCT02 22OCT06 01AUG06
Other Workers 22OCT06 22JUN03 15OCT02 22OCT06 01AUG06
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers U U U U U
5th
Targeted
EmploymentAreas/
Regional Centers
C C C C C
5th Pilot Programs U U U U U

*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-2013 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 October, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified
DV-2013 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 8,000 Except: Egypt 5,500
Ethiopia 5,500
Nigeria 5,500
ASIA 1,900
EUROPE 5,700
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 2
OCEANIA 250
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 450

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-2013 program ends as of September 30, 2013.  DV visas may not be issued to DV-2013 applicants after that date.  Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following  to join DV-2013 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2013.  DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2013 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 NOVEMBER

For November, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2013 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 13,900 Except:  Egypt 6,600
Ethiopia 9,100
Nigeria 8,500
ASIA 2,350
EUROPE 7,000
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 2
OCEANIA 400
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 500


D.  SCHEDULED EXPIRATION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT VISA CATEGORIES

Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR): Pursuant to Section 568(a)(1) of Public Law 111-83, the non-minister special immigrant program expires on September 30, 2012.  No SR visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after September 30, 2012. Visas issued prior to this date will only be issued with a validity date of September 30, 2012, and all individuals seeking admission as a non-minister special immigrant must be admitted (repeat, admitted) into the U.S. no later than midnight September 30, 2012.

Employment Fifth Preference Pilot Categories (I5 and R5): Section 548 of Public Law 111-83 extended this immigrant investor pilot program through September 30, 2012. The I5 and R5 visas may be issued until close of business on September 30, 2012, and may be issued for the full validity period. No I5 or R5 visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after September 30, 2012.

The cut-off dates for the categories mentioned above have been listed as “Unavailable” for October.  Congress is currently considering an extension of the SR, I5 and R5 visa categories, but there is no certainty when such legislative action may occur.  If there is legislative action extending one or both of these categories for FY-2013, those cut-off dates would immediately become “Current” for October.

 

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Visa Bulletin For September 2012

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STATUTORY NUMBERS

1.  This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during September. 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 August 9th. 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. The fiscal year 2012 limit for family-sponsored preference immigrants determined in accordance with Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is 226,000.  The fiscal year 2012 limit for employment-based preference immigrants calculated under INA 201 is 144,951.  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., 25,967 for FY-2012.  The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,419.

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 01OCT05 01OCT05 01OCT05 08JUN93 08NOV94
F2A 08MAY10 08MAY10 08MAY10 15APR10 08MAY10
F2B 15SEP04 15SEP04 15SEP04 22AUG92 01JAN02
F3 15MAY02 15MAY02 15MAY02 22JAN93 22JUL92
F4 08MAR01 22JAN01 08MAR01 15JUN96 01FEB89

*NOTE:  For September, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 15APR10.  F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 15APR10 and earlier than 08MAY10.  (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 01OCT06 15DEC05 08OCT02 01OCT06 01AUG06
Other Workers 01OCT06 22JUN03 08OCT02 01OCT06 01AUG06
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 September, 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

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 OCTOBER

For October, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2013 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 8,000 Except:  Egypt 5,500
Ethiopia 5,500
Nigeria 5,500
ASIA 1,900
EUROPE 5,700
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 2
OCEANIA 250
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 450

 

D. 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. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) 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 CIS data, the Visa Office (VO) bases allocations on the minimum annual limits outlined in Section 201 of the INA.  On August 8th, CIS provided the required data to VO.

The Department of State has determined the Family and Employment preference numerical limits for FY-2012 in accordance with the terms of Section 201 of the INA.  These numerical limitations for FY-2012 are as follows:

Worldwide Family-Sponsored preference limit:         226,000
Worldwide Employment-Based preference limit:       144,951

Under INA Section 202(A), the per-country limit is fixed at 7% of the family and employment annual limits.  For FY-2012 the per-country limit is 25,967.  The dependent area annual limit is 2%, or 7,419.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Visa Bulletin For April 2012

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STATUTORY NUMBERS

1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during April. 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 March 9th.  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 01APR05 01APR05 01APR05 08MAY93 22JUN97
F2A 08OCT09 08OCT09 08OCT09 01SEP09 08OCT09
F2B 15JAN04 15JAN04 15JAN04 01DEC92 08DEC01
F3 15FEB02 15FEB02 15FEB02 15JAN93 22JUL92
F4 08NOV00 08NOV00 08NOV00 01JUN96 08JAN89

*NOTE:  For April, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01SEP09.  F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01SEP09 and earlier than 08OCT09.  (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 01MAY10 01MAY10 C C
3rd 08APR06 01MAR05 01SEP02 08APR06 08APR06
Other Workers 08APR06 22APR03 01SEP02 08APR06 08APR06
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 April, 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 39,000 Except: Egypt  29,500
Ethiopia  29,500
Nigeria 20,000
ASIA 32,600
EUROPE 32,000 Except: Uzbekistan 16,500
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 9
OCEANIA 1,000
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 1,000

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 MAY

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

D.  CHINA-MAINLAND BORN FAMILY FOURTH PREFERENCE

In recent months we have been experiencing very heavy applicant demand in the China-mainland born Family Fourth preference category.  Based on the current rate of demand, it is likely that future movement of this cut-off date will slow and possibly stop at some point in the near future.  This action will be taken in an effort to keep issuances within the annual numerical limits.

E. I-601 PROVISIONAL WAIVER

USCIS is considering changes that would allow certain immediate relatives (the spouse, children or parents of a U.S. citizen) who can demonstrate extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent to receive a provisional waiver of the unlawful presence bars before leaving the United States. These new procedures will not apply to the Family-sponsored numerically controlled preference visa categories.

These procedures are not in effect and will not be available to potential applicants until USCIS publishes a final rule in the Federal Register specifying the effective date. USCIS plans to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the coming months and will consider all comments received as part of that process before publishing a final rule.

  • Do not send an application requesting a provisional waiver at this time. USCIS will reject any application requesting this new process and we will return the application package and any related fees to the applicant. USCIS cannot accept applications until a final rule is issued and the process change becomes effective.
  • Be aware that some unauthorized practitioners of immigration law may wrongly claim they can currently file a provisional waiver application (Form I-601) for you. These same individuals may ask you to pay them to file such forms although the process is not yet in place. Please avoid such scams. USCIS wants you to learn the facts about protecting yourself and your family against scammers by visiting uscis.gov/avoidscams.

If you already have an immigrant visa interview with the U.S. Department of State, we strongly encourage you to attend.  The Department of State may cancel your immigrant visa registration if you fail to appear at this interview.

Those interested in this I-601 provisional waiver issue should consult the USCIS.gov web site for the latest updates.


Visa Bulletin For March 2012

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STATUTORY NUMBERS

1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during March.  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 February 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 isearlier than the cut-off date listed below.)

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 01FEB05 01FEB05 01FEB05 01MAY93 22JUN97
F2A 22JUL09 22JUL09 22JUL09 01JUL09 22JUL09
F2B 15NOV03 15NOV03 15NOV03 01DEC92 08DEC01
F3 01JAN02 01JAN02 01JAN02 08JAN93 22JUL92
F4 08OCT00 08OCT00 08OCT00 22MAY96 22DEC88

*NOTE:  For March, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01JUL09.  F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01JUL09 and earlier than 22JUL09.  (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 01MAY10 01MAY10 C C
3rd 15MAR06 01JAN05 22AUG02 15MAR06 15MAR06
Other Workers 15MAR06 22APR03 22AUG02 15MAR06 15MAR06
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 March, 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 35,800 Except: Egypt  26,000
Ethiopia  26,000
Nigeria 17,500
ASIA 27,000
EUROPE 26,500 Except: Uzbekistan 16,500
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 7
OCEANIA 925
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 925

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 MARCH

For April, 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 39,000 Except: Egypt 29,500
Ethiopia 29,500
Nigeria 20,000
ASIA 32,600
EUROPE 32,000 Except: Uzbekistan 16,500
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 9
OCEANIA 1,000
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 1,000


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