Visa Bulletin For June 2015

Number 81
Volume IX
Washington, D.C

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS1.  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 11th.  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. 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, 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 Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 01SEP07 01SEP07 01SEP07 15NOV94 01MAR00
F2A 01OCT13 01OCT13 01OCT13 08AUG13 01OCT13
F2B 15SEP08 15SEP08 15SEP08 08APR95 01MAY04
F3 22FEB04 22FEB04 22FEB04 15APR94 15AUG93
F4 08SEP02 08SEP02 08SEP02 01MAR97 08NOV91

*NOTE:  For June, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 08AUG13.  F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 08AUG13 and earlier than 01OCT13.  (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 01JUN13 01OCT08 C C
3rd 15FEB15 01SEP11 22JAN04 15FEB15 01JAN05
Other Workers 15FEB15 01JAN06 22JAN04 15FEB15 01JAN05
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
5th
Targeted
Employment
Areas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs
C 01MAY13 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 the cut-off 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 cut-off dates for the following month.

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

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-2015 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-2015 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 34,150 Except:
Egypt:    24,675
Ethiopia: 30,000
ASIA 5,950
EUROPE 34,125
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 6
OCEANIA 1,175
SOUTH AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN
1,075

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-2015 program ends as of September 30, 2015.  DV visas may not be issued to DV-2015 applicants after that date.  Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2015 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2015.  DV visa availability through the very end of
FY-2015 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 JULY

For July, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2015 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 36,500 Except:
Egypt:      27,100
ASIA 6,850 Except:
Nepal:      6,475
EUROPE 35,700
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 7
OCEANIA 1,250
SOUTH AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN
1,175

D.  VISA RETROGRESSION OF MEXICO AND PHILIPPINES
CUT-OFF DATES

Mexico:

Family-sponsored Fourth preference: It has been necessary to slightly retrogress this cut-off date to March 1, 1997 in an attempt to hold number use within the annual limit.

Philippines:

Family-sponsored First preference: This cut-off date had been advanced very rapidly during the past year in an effort to generate sufficient demand to fully utilize all available numbers. The resulting increase in demand has required the retrogression of this cut-off date for the month of June, in an attempt to hold number use within the annual limit for this preference category.

Employment-based Third and Third Other Worker preference: Continued heavy applicant demand for numbers has required a second retrogression of these cut-off dates. Further corrective action cannot be ruled out.
Please Note: Applicants entitled to immigrant status become documentarily qualified at their own initiative and convenience. By no means has every applicant with a priority date earlier than a prevailing cut-off date been processed for final visa action. On the contrary, visa allotments are made only on the basis of the total applicants reported documentarily qualified each month, compared with the amount of available numbers under the respective annual limits. For example, during the past month, over 20,000 applicants who have become documentarily qualified in the Family preference categories have priority dates earlier than the cut-off dates established for May. Demand for visa numbers can fluctuate from one month to another, with the inevitable impact on cut-off dates.

E.  DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY 2016 (DV-2016) RESULTS

The Kentucky Consular Center in Williamburg, Kentucky has registered and notified the winners of the DV-2016 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. Approximately 91,563 applicants have been registered and notified and may now 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-2016 numbers will be used during fiscal year 2016 (October 1, 2015 until September 30, 2016).

Applicants registered for the DV-2016 program were selected at random from 11,391,134 qualified entries (17,573,350 with derivatives) received during the application period that ran from noon, Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 until noon, Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, November 3, 2014. 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 the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services for information on the requirements and procedures. Once the total *50,000 visa numbers have been used, the program for fiscal year 2016 will end. Selected applicants who do not receive visas by September 30, 2016 will derive no further benefit from their DV-2016 registration. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2016 principal applicants are only entitled to derivative diversity visa status until September 30, 2016.

Dates for the DV-2017 program registration period will be widely publicized in the coming months. Those interested in entering the DV-2017 program should check the Department of State’s Visa web page in the coming months.

*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-2016 program:

AFRICA
ALGERIA  1,952 ETHIOPIA  4,000 NIGER  102
ANGOLA  108 GABON  32 RWANDA  412
BENIN  914 GAMBIA, THE  67 SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE  2
BOTSWANA  4 GHANA  3,179 SENEGAL  427
BURKINA FASO  199 GUINEA  1,818 SEYCHELLES  0
BURUNDI  208 GUINEA-BISSAU  4 SIERRA LEONE  2,141
CABO VERDE  6 KENYA  2,729 SOMALIA  272
CAMEROON  3,047 LESOTHO  5 SOUTH AFRICA  535
CENTRAL AFRICAN REP.  23 LIBERIA  4,430 SOUTH SUDAN  17
CHAD  40 LIBYA  240 SUDAN  3,216
COMOROS  3 MADAGASCAR  75 SWAZILAND  7
CONGO  124 MALAWI  17 TANZANIA  93
CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE  4,475 MALI  114 TOGO  1,241
COTE D’IVOIRE  1,129 MAURITANIA  15 TUNISIA  227
DJIBOUTI  92 MAURITIUS  41 UGANDA  453
EGYPT  4,024 MOROCCO  1,993 ZAMBIA  57
EQUATORIAL GUINEA  0 MOZAMBIQUE  11 ZIMBABWE  152
ERITREA  544 NAMIBIA  18
ASIA
AFGHANISTAN  406 JAPAN  302 QATAR  42
BAHRAIN  13 JORDAN  349 SAUDI ARABIA  267
BHUTAN  22 NORTH KOREA  0 SINGAPORE  39
BRUNEI  1 KUWAIT  143 SRI LANKA  704
BURMA  236 LAOS  1 SYRIA  460
CAMBODIA  1,229 LEBANON  225 TAIWAN  297
HONG KONG SPECIAL
ADMIN. REGION  151
MALAYSIA  95 THAILAND  73
INDONESIA  126 MALDIVES  3 TIMOR-LESTE  0
IRAN  4,501 MONGOLIA  185 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES  103
IRAQ  330 NEPAL  3,801 YEMEN  724
ISRAEL  162 OMAN  12
EUROPE
ALBANIA  1,931 GREECE  93 NORWAY  35
ANDORRA  0 HUNGARY  186 POLAND  629
ARMENIA  1,277 ICELAND  3 PORTUGAL  58
AUSTRIA  50 IRELAND  89   Macau  23
AZERBAIJAN  380 ITALY  410 ROMANIA  626
BELARUS  811 KAZAKHSTAN  376 RUSSIA  2,200
BELGIUM  47 KOSOVO  244 SAN MARINO  0
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA  92 KYRGYZSTAN  209 SERBIA  283
BULGARIA  865 LATVIA  73 SLOVAKIA  70
CROATIA  67 LIECHTENSTEIN  0 SLOVENIA  33
CYPRUS  28 LITHUANIA  153 SPAIN  193
CZECH REPUBLIC  74 LUXEMBOURG  0 SWEDEN  108
DENMARK  35 MACEDONIA  258 SWITZERLAND  122
ESTONIA  40 MALTA  0 TAJIKISTAN  337
FINLAND  57 MOLDOVA  1,854 TURKEY  1,795
FRANCE  510 MONACO  0 TURKMENISTAN  124
  French Polynesia  1 MONTENEGRO  8 UKRAINE  4,507
  Saint Martin  1 NETHERLANDS  81 UZBEKISTAN  4,300
  Wallis and Futuna  1   Aruba  4 VATICAN CITY  0
GEORGIA  571   Curacao  2
GERMANY  678 NORTHERN IRELAND  9
NORTH AMERICA
BAHAMAS, THE  16
OCEANIA
AUSTRALIA  832 NAURU  12 SAMOA  5
  Cocos Islands  1 NEW ZEALAND  208 SOLOMON ISLANDS  0
FIJI  393   Cook Islands  4 TONGA  26
KIRIBATI  4 PALAU  4 TUVALU  0
MARSHALL ISLANDS  0 PAPUA NEW GUINEA  3 VANUATU  5
MICRONESIA, FEDERATED STATES OF  3
SOUTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, AND THE CARIBBEAN
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA  0 DOMINICA  6 SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS  2
ARGENTINA  68 GRENADA  7 SAINT LUCIA  5
BARBADOS  0 GUATEMALA  31 SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES  7
BELIZE  0 GUYANA  14 SURINAME  3
BOLIVIA  49 HONDURAS  73 TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO  51
CHILE  17 NICARAGUA  58 URUGUAY  21
COSTA RICA  50 PANAMA  5 VENEZUELA  1,038
CUBA  1,488 PARAGUAY  7

Natives of the following countries were not eligible to participate in DV-2016: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born, excluding Hong Kong S.A.R., Macau S.A.R., and Taiwan), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.