Next month’s Visa Bulletin (October 2015) is out. 


Two priority dates are in it.

For new Friends and visitors of our website – www.visacenter.org – definition of the Family categories would be in order.  The description below includes the annual cap worldwide for each preference category.

The spouses, parents, and minor children of U.S. citizens are not preference categories but are considered “immediate relatives” and therefore exempt from the yearly quota.

Family-sponsored Categories

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.  APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES

Note that there are no “Current” cut-off dates on the first table/chart below.  In a previous release, the State Department explains that this table would indicate when visa numbers would be available and allocate to applicants in a specific country or chargeability.

For example, F1 applicants from the Philippines whose priority dates (herein referred to as the”cut-off” date”) are on or before 01 June 2001 should expect to have their interview dates/schedules since visas are already available.  Not taking action for a year (from the date of notification) could result in a letter advising the applicant of a potential case termination.

Family-Sponsored

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA-mainland born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

F1

15JAN08

15JAN08 

15JAN08

22NOV94

01JUN01

F2A

15APR14

15APR14

15APR14

01MAR14

15APR14

F2B

15JAN09

15JAN09

15JAN09

01AUG95 

01OCT04

F3

22MAY04

22MAY04

22MAY04

08JUN94

01OCT93

F4

08FEB03

08FEB03

08FEB03

22MAR97

01MAY92

 

B.  DATES FOR FILING FAMILY-SPONSORED VISA APPLICATIONS

The second Family-sponsored visa applications chart below means beneficiaries of approved visa petitions by family members may submit their application for the immigrant visa even if visas are not yet available.  It is important that a Family-sponsored visa applicant be documentarily qualified before his or her priority date becomes current – instead of starting to obtain the documents only when the date becomes available on the first chart, above.

For those in the U.S., this is a welcome relief because if an applicant’s priority date is within the date in the specific category of this second table, then that visa applicant (lawfully present or not) may apply for adjustment of status and be able to get legal employment authorization and other secondary benefits instead of waiting for the priority date to be current and be covered in the first table, above.

Family-
Sponsored

All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed

CHINA-
mainland
born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

F1

01MAY09

01MAY09

01MAY09

01JUL95

01SEP05

F2A

01MAR15

01MAR15

01MAR15

01MAR15

01MAR15

F2B

01JUL10

01JUL10

01JUL10

01JAN96

01JAN05

F3

01APR05

01APR05

01APR05

01OCT96

01AUG95

F4

01FEB04

01FEB04

01FEB04

01MAY98

01JAN93

 

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.                  APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES

The same procedure for the Family-sponsored visa applicants apply to those being petitioned by employers.  The chart below would indicate that visa beneficiaries whose permanent labor certifications were filed on the date on or before the specified date in the specific preference category could then apply for the immigrant visa or apply for adjustment of status.

Employment- Based

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA - mainland born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

1st

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

01JAN12

01MAY05

C

C

3rd

15AUG15

15OCT11

08MAR04

15AUG15

01JAN07

Other Workers

15AUG15

01JAN06

08MAR04

15AUG15

01JAN07

4th

C

C

C

C

C

Certain Religious Workers

U

U

U

U

U

5th
Targeted
EmploymentAreas/
Regional Centers

C

08OCT13

C

C

C

5th
Pilot
Programs

U

U

U

U

U

 

B.  DATES FOR FILING OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISA APPLICATIONS

Employment-based visa applicants in the categories above could start processing of their visa applications instead of waiting for the cut-off or priority date to be current. Again, for those in the U.S. this development is most welcome as it would allow beneficiaries to apply for employment authorization and get out of the unlawful presence shadows.


Employment-
Based

All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed

CHINA-
mainland
born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

1st

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

01MAY14

01JUL11

C

C

3rd

01SEP15

01OCT13

01JUL05

01SEP15

01JAN15

Other Workers

01SEP15

01JAN07

01JUL05

01SEP15

01JAN15

4th

C

C

C

C

C

Certain Religious
Workers

C

C

C

C

C

5th Targeted
Employment Areas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs

C

01MAY15

C

C

C

If you need assistance with your visa petitions in the Family of Employment-based categories,  send your email to cra@visacenter.org.  You may also visit our Facebook pages “IVC Immigrant Visa Center -https://www.facebook.com/IVCmigration and Amerika, Atbp. - https://www.facebook.com/AmerikaAtbpTV?fref=ts

Got a question? Let us know - we're here to help.

About the Author

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.


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