VISA DATES MARCH ON - and Filipinos waiting for their visa interview decline in numbers.

Ten years witnessed the fast and sometimes slow movement of priority dates, like ballerinas dancing to the music.

Check the priority dates ten years ago for March (last column, below). Then check how the priority dates for the Family and Employment-based categories moved from February to March this year.  The overall number of Filipino immigrant visa applicants declined over a two year period (Nov. 2013 to Nov. 2015). However, some Family-based categories increased as others decreased.  See table at end of article.

If you have not updated yourself on the new priority date reporting of the Visa Office, you will note that the State Department  now  publishes TWO (2) CHARTS:  

·         CHART A – APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES which shows the cut-off dates for visa applicants in the Family-sponsored categories who should already be documentarily qualified and interview schedules set at the U.S. Embassy, and

·         CHART B,  APPLICATION FILING DATES which is intended for applicants whose priority dates are NOT YET CURRENT, but they can start processing their immigrant visa applications to ensure that they would be DOCUMENTARILY QUALIFIED when their priority dates are on CHART A.

For March 2016, check if your priority date is on or earlier than what is posted in the State Department’s Visa Bulletin for next month – CHART A is shown directly below:

CHART A.  APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES FOR MARCH 2016.

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 cut-off date listed below.)

Family-Sponsored

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

PHILIPPINES

F1

08AUG08

01APR04

F2A

22SEP14

22SEP14

F2B

22MAY09

01MAR05

F3

15OCT04

08DEC93

F4

01JUL03

15AUG92

Now check the CHART B for APPLICATION FILING DATES for the same month, MARCH 2016 in the Family categories.  You will note that the cut-off dates of the Family-sponsored categories are way ahead of the dates on CHART A.

CHART 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 cut-off 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 cut-off 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.

Family-
Sponsored

All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed

PHILIPPINES

F1

01OCT09

01SEP05

F2A

15JUN15

15JUN15

F2B

15DEC10

01MAY05

F3

01AUG05

01AUG95

F4

01MAY04

01JAN93


FINALLY,  to see how the priority dates moved for the last ten years (and from February to March this year) check the visa movement of the family and employment-based categories below.

FEBRUARY-FINAL

FEBRUARY

FILING

MARCH

FINAL

MARCH

FILING

MARCH 2006

1-Nov-03

1-Sep-05

1-Apr-04

1-Sep-05

22AUG91

1-Sep-14

15-Jun-15

22-Sep-14

15-Jun-15

22FEB02

1-Feb-05

1-May-05

1-Mar-05

1-May-05

08JUL96

22-Nov-93

1-Aug-95

8-Dec-93

1-Aug-05

08FEB91

8-Aug-92

1-Jan-93

15-Aug-92

1-Jan-93

001OCT83

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

8-Jan-08

1-Jan-10

15-Mar-08

1-Jan-10

01MAY01

8-Jan-08

1-Jan-10

15-Mar-08

1-Jan-10

01OCT01

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

C

BEWARE OF EAGER AGENCIES.

Some travel agencies or consultancies might or will tell you to START processing your application. Be sure your priority date for the specific category is already on CHART B of the current month. If not, then you might be spending more money than you should.

For example, getting your NSO-documents now, NBI clearance and other documents now while your priority date is not yet on CHART B APPLICATION FILING DATES, will cause you to renew clearances, or obtain new NSO documents when your priority date becomes current and already on CHART A, APPLICATION FINAL DATES.

Always check the two charts here (and the explanation as to the fast or slow movement) before you pay an agency for services regarding your visa application.

IMMIGRANT VISA WAITING LIST, NOVEMBER 2013 AND 2015

Visa Wait List

Nov. 2013

Nov. 2015

Worldwide overall

4,322,575

4,556,021

Philippines, overall

436,639

417,511

F1

21,369

22,048

F2A

12,491

13,454

F2B

50,298

59,679

F3

146,325

145,101

F4

171,397

147,932

EB3

32,965

28,102

OW

1,043

770

What are the reasons for increase or decrease in the Family-based category?

The most common reasons are age (beneficiary turning 21), marital status (from single – F1 to married – F3), financial ability or death of the petitioner, death of the principal applicant, or simply termination of the visa application for failure to submit documents on time.

Whatever the reason, be sure you :

1)       Monitor the pace and movement of priority dates.  If you fail to submit documents a year after being informed of visa availability and need to start obtaining documents, your visa application could be terminated.

2)      Obtain the correct, legal, official, valid documents to establish your eligibility for the appropriate visa category. For example , if your spouse passed away and your category is F3, be aware that the passing of your spouse automatically converts your status to F1. Such conversion could result in faster processing and shorter wait.

3)      Inform the National Visa Center of your correct and current address.

4)      Have completed the forms accurately and paid the correct visa fees.

5)      Designate  a competent, experienced agent or representative to monitor and assist you with the visa processing from the National Visa Center to the interview scheduling with the U.S. Embassy and provide updated port of entry procedures after visa issuance.

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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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