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Visa Bulletin: Family Based Immigrant Visa

Family Based Immigrant Visa

October 2016

Each month, the Department of State (DOS) releases a Visa Bulletin that advises on the availability of immigrant visas. The United States regulates immigration by capping the number of foreign nationals welcomed into the country each year. Each person must have his/her own personal immigrant visa number in order to live permanently in the United States. A foreign national can seek an Immigrant Visa at a U.S. Consulate outside the U.S., or file for an Adjustment of Status with USCIS inside the U.S.

Only a limited number of immigrant visas are available in each category. Immigrant Visas are also limited by the country of chargeability, which is normally the country where the immigrant is born. Those who are eligible for a family based immigrant visa petition (I-130) fall into "preference" category and must wait in line for their category and country of chargeability to accept new applicants.

CHART 1: APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES

When the below chart states that the immigrant's category is Current (C), no backlog exists in this category for that month. If a category is listed as Unavailable (U), then immigrant visas will not be issued in that category for that month. A foreign national with a birth country other than India, China, Mexico or the Philippines must use the "world-wide" dates to determine whether their priority date is current.

To receive an immigrant visa or an adjustment of status, you must have a priority date prior to the listed date for your category and country, as shown in this chart.

Family-Sponsored All Charge-ability Areas Except Those Listed China-mainland born India Mexico Philippines
F1 22 SEP 09 22 SEP 09 22 SEP 09 01 APR 95 01 AUG 05
F2A 22 DEC 14 22 DEC 14 22 DEC 14 01 DEC 14 22 DEC 14
F2B 15 MAR 10 15 MAR 10 15 MAR 10 01 OCT 95 01 JAN 06
F3 22 DEC 04 22 DEC 04 22 DEC 04 22 NOV 94 08 JUL 94
F4 01 NOV 03 01 MAY 03 01 DEC 02 01 MAY 97 15 APR 93

*NOTE: October, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01 DEC 14. F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01 DEC 14 and earlier than 22 DEC 14. (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.)

First Preference: Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second Preference: 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, a nd any unused first preference numbers:

Third Preference: 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".

A. Spouses and Children: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit.

B. Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older): 23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third Preference: Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth Preference: Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences

INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored 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.

CHART 2: DATES FOR FILING FAMILY-SPONSORED VISA APPLICATIONS

When the below chart states that the immigrant's category is Current (C), an applicant in that category may file immigrant visa application regardless of the priority date. If the foreign national's country of chargeability (country of birth) is other than India, China, Mexico or Philippines, use the "World-wide" dates to determine the cut-off date.

In order to file an application for immigrant visa or adjustment of status, you must have a priority date prior to the listed date for your category and country, as shown in this chart.

Family-Sponsored All Charge-ability Areas Except Those Listed China-mainland born India Mexico Philippines
F1 01 JAN 11 01 JAN 11 01 JAN 11 01 JUN 95 01 MAY 06
F2A 22 NOV 15 22 NOV 15 22 NOV 15 22 NOV 15 22 NOV 15
F2B 08 FEB 11 08 FEB 11 08 FEB 11 01 JUN 96 01 FEB 07
F3 22 AUG 05 22 AUG 05 22 AUG 05 01 MAY 95 01 JAN 95
F4 01 JUL 04 01 JUL 04 01 MAY 04 01 DEC 97 01 APR 94

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