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  • Type: Audio and Video
    Post date: Jan 22nd 2021
    Body:
  • Type: News
    Post date: Jan 22nd 2021
    Body:

    This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during February 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. 

    For more please click here.

  • Type: Visa Bulletin
    Post date: Jan 22nd 2021
    Body:

    Number 50
    Volume X
    Washington, D.C

    View as Printer Friendly PDF

    A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

    This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during February 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 January 11th. 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 15SEP14 15SEP14 15SEP14 22JAN98 01JAN12
    F2A C C C C C
    F2B 15JUL15 15JUL15 15JUL15 01JUN99 15AUG11
    F3 15JUL08 15JUL08 15JUL08 01SEP96 01MAR02
    F4 15OCT06 15OCT06 15MAR05 08JUL98 01FEB02
    22MAR05
    22MAR05
    22DEC10
    01FEB16
    01FEB16

     

     

     

    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 08AUG15 08AUG15 08AUG15 01MAR00 22OCT12
    F2A 01JAN21 01JAN21 01JAN21 01JAN21 01JAN21
    F2B 22MAY16 22MAY16 22MAY16 22DEC99 15APR12
    F3 22JUN09 22JUN09 22JUN09 08SEP00 08JAN03
    F4 01OCT07 01OCT07 01DEC05 08MAY99 01OCT02

    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, of which not more than 10,000 may be provided 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 are reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 are 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 C 01JAN20 C 01JAN20 C C C
    2nd C 15JUN16 C 12OCT09 C C C
    3rd C 01JAN18 C 01APR10 C C C
    Other Workers C 01APR09 C 01APR10 C C C
    4th C C 15APR18 C 15DEC18 C C
    Certain Religious Workers C C 15APR18 C 15DEC18 C C
    5th Non-Regional Center
    (C5 and T5)
    C 15AUG15 C C C C 01OCT17
    5th Regional Center
    (I5 and R5)
    C 15AUG15 C C C C 01OCT17

     

    *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 final action date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002. For Fiscal Year 2021 this reduction will be limited to approximately 150.

    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 C 01NOV20 C 01NOV20 C C
    2nd C 01OCT16 C 15MAY11  C C
    3rd C 01JUN18 C 01JAN14 C C
    Other Workers C 01JUL09 C 01JAN14 C C
    4th C C 01SEP18 C C C
    Certain Religious Workers C C 01SEP18 C C C
    5th Non-Regional Center
    (C5 and T5)
    C 15DEC15 C C C C
    5th Regional Center
    (I5 and R5)
    C 15DEC15 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 seventeenth of each month with information on final action dates for the following month.

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

    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 will result in reduction of the DV-2021 annual limit to approximately 54,850. 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 February, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2021 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 12,000 Except: Egypt   7,200
    ASIA 5,000

    Except: Iran       3,000
                  Nepal   3,950

    EUROPE 8,200  
    NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS)  5  
    OCEANIA 725  
    SOUTH AMERICA,
    and the CARIBBEAN
    875  

    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-2021 program ends as of September 30, 2021. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2021 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2021 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2021. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2021 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 MARCH

    For March, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2021 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 14,000 Except: Egypt  10,000
    ASIA 6,200 Except: Iran      3,800
                  Nepal  4,200
    EUROPE 9,400  
    NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS)  6  
    OCEANIA 900  
    SOUTH AMERICA,
    and the CARIBBEAN
    1,175  

    D.  FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON VISA PROCESSING AT U.S. EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PLEASE VISIT THE BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS WEBSITE AT TRAVEL.STATE.GOV

    E.  VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS

    FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)

    Worldwide dates:
       F1:  Up to two weeks
       F2A:  Current 
       F2B:  Up to two weeks
       F3:  Up to three weeks
       F4:  Up to two weeks

    EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)

    Employment First
       Worldwide:  Current
       China:  Up to six months
       India:  Up to six months  

    Employment Second:
       Worldwide:  Current
       China:  Up to three weeks 
       India:  Up to two weeks       

    Employment Third
      Worldwide:  Current
      China:  Up to one month
      India:  Up to three weeks
      Mexico:  Current
      Philippines:  Current

    Employment Fourth:  Current for most countries
       El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras:  Up to three months
       Mexico:  Up to one month            

    Employment Fifth:  The category will remain “Current” for most countries       
       China:  No forward movement
       Vietnam:  Up to three weeks

    The above final action date projections for the Family and Employment categories indicate what is likely to happen on a monthly basis through May.   The determination of the actual monthly final action dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables impacting processing. 

    F.  ANNUAL REPORT OF IMMIGRANT VISA APPLICANTS IN THE FAMILY-SPONSORED AND EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES REGISTERED AT THE NATIONAL VISA CENTER AS OF NOVEMBER 1, 2020

    The National Visa Center has provided the totals of applicants who are registered in the various numerically-limited immigrant categories for processing at overseas posts.  This information is available on the Consular Affairs www.travel.state.gov website.  The direct link to the item is:

    https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-statistics/immigrant-visa-statistics.html

    G.  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 17th 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:   January 11, 2021

  • Type: News
    Post date: Jan 21st 2021
    Body:

    Published by: The Economic Times - Date: January 21, 2021

    Synopsis

    Politically, this is a good time for immigration laws to be revamped and modernized. Concluding from various polls conducted over the last two years, 70% of the US population considers immigration to be important for the United States. Democrats, that is Biden’s party, have the majority (although a slim one) to pass laws & be effective.

    For more details please see the attachment below.

  • Type: News
    Post date: Jan 21st 2021
    Body:

    Published by: The Times of India  - Date: January 21, 2021

    Quotes and Excerpts from Rajiv on the article:

    “It is most gratifying to see an acknowledgment from the Biden-Harris administration of the plight of immigration stakeholders” Arlington-based, Rajiv S Khanna, Managing Attorney at Immigration.com told TOI.

    “The new administration is moving forward to present a comprehensive immigration reform legislative package to the Congress. Although Democrats have a slim majority in both chambers, it is far from certain that immigration reforms will go through without struggle. I anticipate the process of passage to last at least a few months. This time could also include hearings that Congress needs to schedule for their fact-finding. We must take much comfort that even if the reform takes a long time, we have a consistent rulemaking administration. No longer will we awake every morning to find a new set of policies we have to deal with. That in itself is a big relief,” he added.

    For more details please see the attachment below.