I’ll See You in September, When Visas Are Gone

The fiscal year 2016 limit for family-sponsored preference immigrants under Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is 226,000.  The fiscal year 2016 limit for employment-based preference immigrants is 140,338.  The per-country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,644 for FY-2016.  The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,327.  (From State Department website).

A.  FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES

Use this chart to determine when you can start your immigrant visa application – paying the fees, submitting documents, completing the forms – preparatory to your interview at the designated consular post or embassy. Remember that you have a year to apply for the immigrant visa from the time the visa becomes available (your priority date being current). If you do not apply within a year, the State Department would send you a letter warning of a visa revocation or cancellation.

The FINAL ACTION Dates means you should have an interview schedule set after you have completed the documentary requirements and payments. If you do not appear for the interview and your preference category retrogresses, you may have to wait for months. In the meantime, if the petitioner has a serious medical condition or has decided to return to the Philippines (or original country of birth) you would have lost the chance to get your immigrant visa – and green card.

Family-
Sponsored 

August FILING

August FINAL

September FILING

September FINAL 

F1

22DEC05

22MAR05

22DEC05

01JUL05

F2A

22NOV15

15NOV14

22NOV15

15NOV14

F2B

01FEB06

15SEP05

01FEB06

01DEC05

F3

01AUG95

15MAR94

01AUG95

15JUN94

F4

15JUL93

01FEB93

15JUL93

01MAR93

Note that the FILING DATES from August have not moved. For visa applicants whose priority dates are after the date published, then you would have to wait for October when a new set of visas are allocated for the next fiscal year.

For applicants whose priority dates are on or earlier than that posted – and have not yet received your interview notice – you may remind your designated agent to follow up with the National Visa Center. In the meantime, it would be wise to request for most recent copies of documents that establish your relationship with the petitioner as well as your police clearance (if you stayed in a foreign country for 6 months or more) as well as the NBI clearance.

The Philippines is a TB and HIV prone country (according to State Department records) so it is recommended to have a preliminary medical before your interview date.

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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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