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  • Type: News
    Post date: Nov 15th 2018
    Body:

    Are you seeking to adjust your status and become a U.S. permanent resident under a family-sponsored or employment-based preference immigrant visa? If you have not yet had a relative or employer file an immigrant visa petition on your behalf, please learn more about the Adjustment of Status Filing Process. If you already have a petition filed or approved on your behalf, you may have to wait for an available visa in your category (if applicable) before you can file your Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This page will help you determine when to file your adjustment of status application.

    When to File

    Use the Visa Bulletin charts below to determine when to file your adjustment of status application.

    To use the charts:

    1. Find your visa type in the first column (on the left) of the appropriate chart (Family-sponsored or Employment-based).
    2. Stay in that row and move directly to the right to find the corresponding date under the country of your birth (as listed in the boldface columns across the top).
    3. If the date on the chart is current (“C”), or your priority date is earlier than the date on the chart, you may file your adjustment of status application, if otherwise eligible to do so.
    4.  “U” means unauthorized; for example, numbers are not authorized for issuance.

    Your priority date is generally the date when your relative or employer properly filed the immigrant visa petition on your behalf with USCIS. If a labor certification is required to be filed with your immigrant visa petition, the priority date is the date the labor certification application was accepted for processing by the Department of Labor.

    December 2018

    Dates for Filing for Family-Sponsored Adjustment of Status Applications:

     Family-
     Sponsored

     All Chargeability
     Areas Except
     Those Listed

    CHINA-
    mainland
    born

    INDIA

    MEXICO

    PHILIPPINES

    F1

    08MAR12

    08MAR12

    08MAR12

    22APR99

    15FEB08

    F2A

    01DEC17

    01DEC17

    01DEC17

    01DEC17

    01DEC17

    F2B

    22MAR14

    22MAR14

    22MAR14

    01AUG97

    15DEC07

    F3

    08JAN07

    08JAN07

    08JAN07

    08OCT99

    01JUN97

    F4

    01FEB06

    01FEB06

    01JAN05

    15SEP98

    22APR97

    Dates for Filing for Employment-Based Adjustment of Status Applications:

    Employment- Based

    All Chargeability
    Areas Except
    Those Listed

    CHINA-
    mainland
    born

    El SALVADOR
    GUATEMALA
    HONDURAS

    INDIA

    MEXICO

    PHILIPPINES

    1st

    01JUN18

    01OCT17

    01JUN18

    01OCT17

    01JUN18

    01JUN18

    2nd

    C

    08SEP15

    C

    22MAY09

    C

    C

    3rd

    C

    01DEC15

    C

    01JAN10

    C

    01AUG17

    Other Workers

    C

    01JUN08

    C

    01JAN10

    C

    01AUG17

    4th

    C

    C

    01MAY16

    C

    C

    C

    Certain Religious Workers

    C

    C

    01MAY16

    C

    C

    C

    5th
    Non-Regional
    Center
    (C5 and T5)

    C

    01OCT14

    C

    C

    C

    C

    5th
    Regional
    Center
    (I5 and R5)

    C

    01OCT14

    C

    C

    C

    C

    An image

    About the Visa Bulletin

    DOS publishes current immigrant visa availability information in a monthly Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin indicates when statutorily limited visas are available for issuance to prospective immigrants based on their individual priority date.

    On Nov. 20, 2014, the Secretary of Homeland Security directed USCIS to work with DOS to:

    • Ensure that all immigrant visas authorized by Congress are issued to eligible individuals when there is sufficient demand for such visas, and
    • Improve the Visa Bulletin system for determining when immigrant visas are available to applicants during the fiscal year.

    Additionally, in July 2015, the Administration issued its report on Modernizing and Streamlining Our Legal Immigration System for the 21st Century (PDF). This report included detailed recommendations to revise and update the monthly Visa Bulletin to better estimate immigrant visa availability and provide needed predictability to nonimmigrant workers seeking permanent residency.

    USCIS, in coordination with DOS, revised the procedures for determining visa availability for applicants waiting to file for adjustment of status. The revised process will better align with procedures DOS uses for foreign nationals who seek to become U.S. permanent residents by applying for immigrant visas at U.S. consulates and embassies abroad.

    This revised process will enhance DOS’s ability to more accurately predict overall immigrant visa demand in determining the cut-off dates for the Visa Bulletin. This will help ensure that the maximum number of immigrant visas are issued annually as intended by Congress, and minimize month-to-month fluctuations in Visa Bulletin final action dates. Additional goals are outlined in the White House report, Modernizing and Streamlining Our Legal Immigration System for the 21st Century (PDF).

    New Visa Bulletin Charts

    The Visa Bulletin will now have two different charts because of the revised procedures. DOS will post two charts per visa preference category in the DOS Visa Bulletin. The charts are:

    • Application Final Action Dates (dates when visas may finally be issued); and
    • Dates for Filing Applications (earliest dates when applicants may be able to apply).

    When USCIS determines there are immigrant visas available for the filing of additional adjustment of status applications, the Dates for Filing Applications chart may be used to determine when to file an adjustment of status application with USCIS. Otherwise, the Application Final Action Dates chart must be used to determine when to file an adjustment of status application with USCIS.

    In coordination with the DOS, USCIS will monitor visa numbers each month and post the relevant chart on this page under When to File.

    Determining Visa Availability

    USCIS considers several factors to determine if there is a greater supply of visas than the demand for those visas. To determine visa availability, USCIS will compare the number of visas available for the remainder of the fiscal year with:

    • Documentarily qualified visa applications reported by DOS;
    • Pending adjustment of status applications reported by USCIS; and
    • Historical drop off rate of applicants for adjustment of status (for example, denials, withdrawals and abandonments)

     

  • Type: FAQ
    Post date: Nov 15th 2018
    Body:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Unlawful presence for minors

    Video Transcript

    For a child under the age of 18 until they hit 18 there is no unlawful presence. They are only out of status. More...

     



    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  • Type: FAQ
    Post date: Nov 14th 2018
    Body:

    Watch the Video on this FAQ: Impact of unlawful presence

    Video Transcript:

    In your case make sure she came in with an I-94DS because if she did not have DS, then she's been accumulating unlawful presence for a while and then the only solution is when you become a US citizen, you can then apply for her I-485 without having an issue with unlawful presence because she entered legally. Please spend some time with your lawyer, go over your wife's situation in detail, learn all the pros and cons of your situation. More...

     

    Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

  • Type: News
    Post date: Nov 14th 2018
    Body:

    This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during December for: “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications,” indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center.

    Visa Bulletin - December 2018

  • Type: Visa Bulletin
    Post date: Nov 14th 2018
    Body:

    Number 24
    Volume X
    Washington, D.C

    View as Printer Friendly PDF

    A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

    This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during December for: “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications,” indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center.

    Unless otherwise indicated on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website at www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo, individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status with USCIS in the Department of Homeland Security must use the “Final Action Dates” charts below for determining when they can file such applications. When USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for the fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, USCIS will state on its website that applicants may instead use the “Dates for Filing Visa Applications” charts in this Bulletin. 

    1.  Procedures for determining dates. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; USCIS reports applicants for adjustment of status. Allocations in the charts below were made, to the extent possible, in chronological order of reported priority dates, for demand received by November 8th. If not all demand could be satisfied, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed. The final action date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits. If it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a final action date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new final action date announced in this bulletin. If at any time an annual limit were reached, it would be necessary to immediately make the preference category “unavailable”, and no further requests for numbers would be honored.

    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, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, INDIA, MEXICO, PHILIPPINES, and VIETNAM.

    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.

    A.  FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES

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

    Family-
    Sponsored 

    All Chargeability 
    Areas Except
    Those Listed

    CHINA-mainland 
    born

    INDIA

    MEXICO

    PHILIPPINES 

    F1

    08AUG11

    08AUG11

    08AUG11

    01AUG97

    15FEB07

    F2A

    08OCT16

    08OCT16

    08OCT16

    22SEP16

    08OCT16

    F2B

    15FEB12

    15FEB12

    15FEB12

    08JUN97

    08JUN07

    F3

    01AUG06

    01AUG06

    01AUG06

    22DEC95 

    08JUL95

    F4

    22APR05

    22APR05

    08JUN04

    08FEB98

    15JUL95

    *NOTE: For December, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 22SEP16. F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 22SEP16 and earlier than 08OCT16. All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit.

    B.  DATES FOR FILING FAMILY-SPONSORED VISA APPLICATIONS

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

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

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

    Family-
    Sponsored 

    All Chargeability 
    Areas Except
    Those Listed

    CHINA-
    mainland 
    born

    INDIA

    MEXICO

    PHILIPPINES 

    F1

    08MAR12

    08MAR12

    08MAR12

    22APR99

    15FEB08

    F2A

    01DEC17

    01DEC17

    01DEC17

    01DEC17

    01DEC17

    F2B

    22MAR14

    22MAR14

    22MAR14

    01AUG97

    15DEC07

    F3

    08JAN07

    08JAN07

    08JAN07

    08OCT99

    01JUN97

    F4

    01FEB06

    01FEB06

    01JAN05

    15SEP98

    22APR97

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

    EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES

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

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

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

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

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

    A.  FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES

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

    Employment-
    based

    All Chargeability 
    Areas Except
    Those Listed

    CHINA-
    mainland 
    born

    EL SALVADOR
    GUATEMALA
    HONDURAS

    INDIA

    MEXICO

    PHILIPPINES

    VIETNAM

    1st

    01JUL17

    01SEP16

    01JUL17

    01SEP16

    01JUL17

    01JUL17

    01JUL17

    2nd

    C

    01JUL15

    C

    01APR09

    C

    C

    C

    3rd

    C

    08JUN15

    C

    01MAR09

    C

    15JUN17

    C

    Other Workers

    C

    01JUN07

    C

    01MAR09

    C

    15JUN17

    C

    4th

    C

    C

    22FEB16

    C

    01JAN17

    C

    C

    Certain Religious Workers

    C

    C

    22FEB16

    C

    01JAN17

    C

    C

    5th Non-Regional Center
    (C5 and T5)

    C

    22AUG14

    C

    C

    C

    C

    01MAY16

    5th Regional Center
    (I5 and R5)

    C

    22AUG14

    C

    C

    C

    C

    01MAY16

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

    B.  DATES FOR FILING OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISA APPLICATIONS

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

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

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

    Employment-
    based

    All Chargeability
    Areas Except
    Those Listed

    CHINA-
    mainland 
    born

    EL SALVADOR
    GUATEMALA
    HONDURAS

    INDIA

    MEXICO 

    PHILIPPINES 

    1st

    01JUN18

    01OCT17

    01JUN18

    01OCT17

    01JUN18

    01JUN18

    2nd

    C

    08SEP15

    C

    22MAY09 

    C

    C

    3rd

    C

    01DEC15

    C

    01JAN10

    C

    01AUG17

    Other Workers

    C

    01JUN08

    C

    01JAN10

    C

    01AUG17

    4th

    C

    C

    01MAY16

    C

    C

    C

    Certain Religious Workers

    C

    C

    01MAY16

    C

    C

    C

    5th Non-Regional Center
    (C5 and T5)

    C

    01OCT14

    C

    C

    C

    C

    5th Regional Center
    (I5 and R5)

    C

    01OCT14

    C

    C

    C

    C

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

    B.  DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER

    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-2019 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 December, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2019 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

    9,800

    Except:  Egypt  6,200

    ASIA

    2,900

    Except:  Iran    2,200
                 Nepal  1,500

    EUROPE

    6,600

     

    NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 

    11

     

    OCEANIA

    290

     

    SOUTH AMERICA,
    and the CARIBBEAN

    475

     

    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-2019 program ends as of September 30, 2019. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2019 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2019 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2019. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2019 cannot be taken for granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.

    C.  THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANK CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN JANUARY

    For January, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2019 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

    13,100

    Except: Egypt  8,300

    ASIA

    3,800

    Except: Iran    2,900
                Nepal  2,150

    EUROPE

    8,800

     

    NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 

    12

     

    OCEANIA

    350

     

    SOUTH AMERICA,
    and the CARIBBEAN

    550

     

    D.   SCHEDULED EXPIRATION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT VISA CATEGORIES

    Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR):

    Pursuant to the continuing resolution, signed on September 28, 2018, the non-minister special immigrant program expires on December 7, 2018. No SR visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after midnight December 6, 2018. Visas issued prior to this date will only be issued with a validity date of December 6, 2018, and all individuals seeking admission as a non-minister special immigrant must be admitted (repeat, admitted) into the U.S. no later than midnight December 6, 2018.

    The final action date for this category has been listed as “Current” for December for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, which are subject to specific final action dates for December. If there is no legislative action extending this category for FY-2019, the final action date would immediately become “Unavailable” for December for all countries effective December 7, 2018.  
     

    Employment Fifth Preference Categories (I5 and R5):

    The continuing resolution signed on September 28, 2018 extended this immigrant investor pilot program until December 7, 2018. The I5 and R5 visas may be issued until close of business on December 7, 2018, 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 December 7, 2018.

    The final action dates for the I5 and R5 categories have been listed as “Current” for December for all countries except China-mainland born and Vietnam, which are subject to specific final action dates for December. If there is no legislative action extending them for FY-2019, the final action dates would immediately become “Unavailable” for December for all countries effective December 8, 2018.

    E.  OBTAINING THE MONTHLY VISA BULLETIN

    To be placed on the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the “Visa Bulletin”, please send an E-mail to the following E-mail address:

    listserv@calist.state.gov

    and in the message body type:
    Subscribe Visa-Bulletin 
    (example: Subscribe Visa-Bulletin)

    To be removed from the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the “Visa Bulletin”, send an e-mail message to the following E-mail address:

    listserv@calist.state.gov

    and in the message body type: Signoff Visa-Bulletin

    The Department of State also has available a recorded message with visa final action dates which can be heard at: (202) 485-7699. The recording is normally updated on/about the 10th of each month with information on final action dates for the following month.

    Readers may submit questions regarding Visa Bulletin related items by E-mail at the following address:

    VISABULLETIN@STATE.GOV

    (This address cannot be used to subscribe to the Visa Bulletin.)

    Department of State Publication 9514
    CA/VO:   November 8, 2018