Visa Bulletin For August 2019

Number 32
Volume X
Washington, D.C

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during July 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 June 6th. 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.)

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.

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 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.

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 AUGUST

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 August, 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:

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  SEPTEMBER

For September, 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:

D. ESTABLISHMENT AND RETROGRESSION OF AUGUST EMPLOYMENT-BASED FINAL ACTION DATES

There has been a steadily increasing level of Employment applicant demand since late May for adjustment of status cases filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and there is no indication that this increase will end.  Therefore, it has been necessary to establish or retrogress many of the August Final Action Dates in an effort to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the respective FY-2019 annual limits.

 

The implementation of the above mentioned dates is expected to be only a temporary issue.  For October, the first month of fiscal year 2020, every effort will be made to return these final action dates to those which applied for July.

E. DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY 2020 (DV-2020) RESULTS

The Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, Kentucky has registered and notified the winners of the DV-2020 diversity lottery.  The diversity lottery was conducted under the terms of section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and makes available up to 55,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.  Approximately 83,884 applicants have been registered and notified and may now make an application for an immigrant visa. Since it is likely that some of the persons registered will not pursue their cases to visa issuance, this larger figure should insure that all   DV-2020 numbers will be used during fiscal year 2020 (October 1, 2019 until September 30, 2020).

 

Applicants registered for the DV-2020 program were selected at random from 14,722,798 qualified entries (23,182,554 with derivatives) received during the 34-day application period that ran from noon, Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, until noon, Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, November 6, 2018.  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 in their notification letter and must fully complete the information requested.

 

Registrants living legally in the United States who wish to apply for adjustment of their status must contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for information on the requirements and procedures.  Once the total available visa numbers have been used, the program for fiscal year 2020 will end.  Selected applicants who do not receive visas by September 30, 2020 will derive no further benefit from their DV-2020 registration.  Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2020 principal applicants are only entitled to derivative diversity visa status until September 30, 2020.

 

Dates for the DV-2021 program registration period will be widely publicized in the coming months.  Those interested in entering the DV-2021 program should check the Department of State’s Visa web page in the coming months.

 

The following is the statistical breakdown by foreign state of chargeability of those registered for the DV-2020 program:

AFRICA
ALGERIA  2,745 ESWATINI  0 NAMIBIA  6
ANGOLA  150 ETHIOPIA  1,974 NIGER  31
BENIN  443 GABON  34 RWANDA  603
BOTSWANA  2 GAMBIA, THE  25 SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE  0
BURKINA FASO  84 GHANA  1,343 SENEGAL  91
BURUNDI  228 GUINEA  271 SEYCHELLES  1
CABO VERDE  10 GUINEA-BISSAU  2 SIERRA LEONE  217
CAMEROON  1,589 KENYA  1,801 SOMALIA  72
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC  5 LESOTHO  0 SOUTH AFRICA  162
CHAD  93 LIBERIA  1,142 SOUTH SUDAN  23
COMOROS  1 LIBYA  102 SUDAN  3,691
CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE  4,743 MADAGASCAR  9 TANZANIA  72
CONGO, REPUBLIC OF THE  258 MALAWI  4 TOGO  600
COTE D’IVOIRE  364 MALI  30 TUNISIA  82
DJIBOUTI  59 MAURITANIA  25 UGANDA  374
EGYPT  5,568 MAURITIUS 4 ZAMBIA  12
EQUATORIAL GUINEA  5 MOROCCO  2,202 ZIMBABWE  61
ERITREA  140 MOZAMBIQUE  9
ASIA
AFGHANISTAN  981 JAPAN  333 QATAR  72
BAHRAIN  10 JORDAN  633 SAUDI ARABIA  699
BHUTAN  27 KOREA, NORTH 11 SINGAPORE  15
BRUNEI  1 KUWAIT  165 SRI LANKA  765
BURMA  444 LAOS  64 SYRIA  265
CAMBODIA  790 LEBANON  135 TAIWAN  476
HONG KONG S.A.R.  92 MALAYSIA  68 THAILAND  127
INDONESIA  194 MALDIVES  2 TIMOR-LESTE  0
IRAN  4,101 MONGOLIA  265 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES  206
IRAQ  615 NEPAL  3,696 YEMEN  550
ISRAEL  128 OMAN  11
EUROPE
ALBANIA  3,603 GREECE  48 NORTHERN IRELAND  13
ANDORRA  8 HUNGARY  84 NORWAY  12
ARMENIA  1,422 ICELAND  0 POLAND  384
AUSTRIA  38 IRELAND  19 PORTUGAL  12
AZERBAIJAN  899 ITALY  220   Macau  5
BELARUS  1,512 KAZAKHSTAN  1,584 ROMANIA  311
BELGIUM  32 KOSOVO  260 RUSSIA  5,118
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA  40 KYRGYZSTAN  1,223 SERBIA  210
BULGARIA  343 LATVIA  68 SLOVAKIA  30
CROATIA  40 LIECHTENSTEIN  0 SLOVENIA  4
CYPRUS  5 LITHUANIA  151 SPAIN  99
CZECH REPUBLIC  31 LUXEMBOURG  0 SWEDEN  36
DENMARK  17 MACEDONIA  249 SWITZERLAND 49
ESTONIA  30 MALTA  6 TAJIKISTAN  1,401
FINLAND  15 MOLDOOVA  1,112 TURKEY  2,709
FRANCE  212 MONACO  3 TURKMENISTAN  515
  New Caledonia  3 MONTENEGRO  35 UKRAINE  3,313
GEORGIA  1,131 NETHERLANDS  56 UZBEKISTAN  1,743
GERMANY  328   Aruba  3 VATICAN CITY  0
NORTH AMERICA
BAHAMAS, THE  20
OCEANIA
AUSTRALIA  647 MICRONESIA, FEDERATED
STATES OF  0
SAMOA  4
  Christmas Island  2 NAURU  6 SOLOMON ISLANDS 4
  Cocos Keeling Islands  9 NEW ZEALAND  181 TONGA  42
  Norfolk Island  1   Cook Islands  15 TUVALU  0
FIJI  435   Tokelau  1 VANUATU  7
KIRIBATI  12 PAPUA NEW GUINEA  11
MARSHALL ISLANDS  0 PALAU  1
SOUTH AMERICA
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA  1 DOMINICA  0 PARAGUAY  9
ARGENTINA  30 ECUADOR  134 SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS  0
BARBADOS  1 GRENADA  0 SAINT LUCIA  0
BELIZE  2 GUATEMALA  60 SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES  0
BOLIVIA  22 GUYANA  3 SURINAME  0
CHILE  21 HONDURAS  58 TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO  19
COSTA RICA  12 NICARAGUA  23 URUGUAY  15
CUBA  2,703 PANAMA  8 VENEZUELA 1,068

 

Natives of the following countries were not eligible to participate in DV-2020: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

F.  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:   June 6, 2019

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