Visa Bulletin - September 2020

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Number 45
Volume X
Washington, D.C

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A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during September 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 August 10th. 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. The fiscal year 2020 limit for family-sponsored preference immigrants determined in accordance with Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is 226,000.  The fiscal year 2020 limit for employment-based preference immigrants calculated under INA 201 is 156,253.  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., 25,754 for FY-2020.  The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,645.

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 08JAN98 15DEC11
F2A C C C C C
F2B 08JUL15 08JUL15 08JUL15 08APR99 01AUG11
F3 15JUN08 15JUN08 15JUN08 01AUG96 15FEB02
F4 22SEP06 22SEP06 08MAR05 22JUN98 01JAN02
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 22JUL15 22JUL15 22JUL15 22FEB00 08OCT12
F2A 01AUG20 01AUG20 01AUG20 01AUG20 01AUG20
F2B 01MAY16 01MAY16 01MAY16 01DEC99 01APR12
F3 01JUN09 01JUN09 01JUN09 15AUG00 22DEC02
F4 15SEP07 15SEP07 22NOV05 22APR99 01SEP02

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.

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 01MAR18 C 01MAR18 C C C
2nd C 15JAN16 C 08JUL09 C C C
3rd 01APR19 15FEB17 01APR19 01OCT09 01APR19 01APR19 01APR19
Other Workers 01APR19 01AUG08 01APR19 01OCT09 01APR19 01APR19 01APR19
4th C C 01APR17 C 15JUN18 C C
Certain Religious Workers C C 01APR17 C 15JUN18 C C
5th Non-Regional Center
(C5 and T5)
C 15AUG15 C C C C 01AUG17
5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
C 15AUG15 C C C C 01AUG17

 

*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 2020 this reduction will be limited to approximately 350.

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 01JUL18 C 01JUL18 C C
2nd C 01AUG16 C 15AUG09  C C
3rd 01APR20 01MAY17 01APR20 01FEB10 01APR20 01APR20
Other Workers 01APR20 01OCT08 01APR20 01FEB10 01APR20 01APR20
4th C C 01OCT17 C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C 01OCT17 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 SEPTEMBER

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-2020 annual limit to approximately 54,650. 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 September, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2020 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 CURRENT  
ASIA CURRENT

 

EUROPE CURRENT  
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS)  CURRENT  
OCEANIA CURRENT  
SOUTH AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN
CURRENT  

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-2020 program ends as of September 30, 2020. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2020 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2020 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2020. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2020 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 OCTOBER

For October, 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 2,900 Except: Egypt  2,700
ASIA 1,600 Except: Iran      1,000
              Nepal  1,050
EUROPE 2,500  
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS)  2  
OCEANIA 250  
SOUTH AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN
350  

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.  DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY 2021 (DV-2021) RESULTS

The Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, Kentucky has registered and notified the winners of the DV-2021 diversity lottery.  The diversity lottery was conducted under the terms of section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and makes available *55,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.  Approximately 132,404 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 *55,000 persons registered will not pursue their cases to visa issuance, this larger figure should insure that all DV-2021 numbers will be used during fiscal year 2021 (October 1, 2020 until September 30, 2021).

Applicants registered for the DV-2021 program were selected at random from 6,741,128 qualified entries (11,830,707 with derivatives) received during the 35-day application period that ran from noon, Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, until noon, Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, November 6, 2019.  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 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for information on the requirements and procedures.  Once the total *55,000 visa numbers have been used, the program for fiscal year 2021 will end.  Selected applicants who do not receive visas by September 30, 2021 will derive no further benefit from their DV-2021 registration.  Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2021 principal applicants are only entitled to derivative diversity visa status until September 30, 2021.

Dates for the DV-2022 program registration period will be widely publicized in the coming months.  Those interested in entering the DV-2022 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. This will result in reduction of the DV-2021 annual limit to approximately 54,750.

The following is the statistical breakdown by foreign state of chargeability of those registered for the DV-2021 program:  

AFRICA

ALGERIA  6,001

ESWATINI  3

NAMIBIA  0

ANGOLA  627

ETHIOPIA  3,957

NIGER  55

BENIN  830

GABON  65

RWANDA  1,067

BOTSWANA  3

GAMBIA, THE  71

SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE  0

BURKINA FASO  83

GHANA  3,284

SENEGAL  167

BURUNDI  398

GUINEA  805

SEYCHELLES  4

CABO VERDE  6

GUINEA-BISSAU  7

SIERRA LEONE  504

CAMEROON  3,686

KENYA  2,777

SOMALIA  217

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC  22

LESOTHO  3

SOUTH AFRICA  510

CHAD  191

LIBERIA  1,858

SOUTH SUDAN  40

COMOROS  10

LIBYA  259

SUDAN  6,001

CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE  4,503 

MADAGASCAR  23

TANZANIA  184

CONGO, REPUBLIC OF THE  740

MALAWI  32

TOGO  1,118

COTE D’IVOIRE  737

MALI  103

TUNISIA  173

DJIBOUTI  175

MAURITANIA  105

UGANDA  908

EGYPT  6,002

MAURITIUS  12

ZAMBIA  67

EQUATORIAL GUINEA  6

MOROCCO  4,458

ZIMBABWE  276

ERITREA  509

MOZAMBIQUE  7

 

 

 

 

ASIA

 

 

AFGHANISTAN  2,189

JAPAN  532

QATAR  82

BAHRAIN  19

JORDAN  1,578

SAUDI ARABIA  1,126

BHUTAN  69

KOREA, NORTH  3

SINGAPORE  40

BRUNEI  1

KUWAIT  302

SRI LANKA  1,566

BURMA  776

LAOS  43

SYRIA  487

CAMBODIA  1,174

LEBANON  249

TAIWAN  693

HONG KONG S.A.R.  569

MALAYSIA  95

THAILAND  290

INDONESIA  317

MALDIVES  0

TIMOR-LESTE  0

IRAN  6,001

MONGOLIA  496

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES  282

IRAQ  1,184

NEPAL  3,801

YEMEN  1,222

ISRAEL  190

OMAN  32

 

 

 

 

EUROPE

 

 

ALBANIA  3,962

GREECE  71

NORTHERN IRELAND  4

ANDORRA  0

HUNGARY  93

NORWAY  7

ARMENIA  2,293

ICELAND  11

POLAND  383

AUSTRIA  35

IRELAND  29

PORTUGAL  24

AZERBAIJAN  1,439

ITALY  289

  Macau  6

BELARUS  2,143

KAZAKHSTAN  2,406

ROMANIA  365

BELGIUM  32

KOSOVO  311

RUSSIA  6,001

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA  36

KYRGYZSTAN  2,130

SERBIA  239

BULGARIA  348

LATVIA  63

SLOVAKIA  23

CROATIA  32

LIECHTENSTEIN  1

SLOVENIA  6

CYPRUS  2

LITHUANIA  180

SPAIN  114

CZECH REPUBLIC  44

LUXEMBOURG  0

SWEDEN  41

DENMARK  24

MALTA  5

SWITZERLAND  48

ESTONIA  18

MOLDOOVA  1,565

TAJIKISTAN  2,332

FINLAND  26

MONACO  1

TURKEY  2,874

FRANCE  272

MONTENEGRO  33

TURKMENISTAN  870

  Saint Martin  6

NETHERLANDS  43

UKRAINE  5,604

GEORGIA  1,899

  Curacao 1

UZBEKISTAN  5,319

GERMANY  563 NORTH MACEDONIA  336 VATICAN CITY  0

 

 

 

NORTH AMERICA

 

 

BAHAMAS, THE  29

 

 

 

 

 

OCEANIA

 

 

AUSTRALIA  1,130

NAURU  11

SAMOA  8

  Cocos Keeling Islands  19

NEW ZEALAND  360

SOLOMON ISLANDS  4

FIJI  1,087

  Cook Islands  32

TONGA  95

KIRIBATI  12

  Tokelau  5

TUVALU  2

MARSHALL ISLANDS  0

PAPUA NEW GUINEA  29

VANUATU  7

MICRONESIA, FEDERATED
STATES OF  9

PALAU  5

 

 

 

 

SOUTH AMERICA

 

 

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA  5

DOMINICA  3

PERU  1,559

ARGENTINA  191

ECUADOR  246

SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS  1

BARBADOS  5

GRENADA  1

SAINT LUCIA  2

BELIZE  8

GUYANA  5

SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES  3

BOLIVIA  38

HONDURAS  74

SURINAME  4

CHILE  36

NICARAGUA  69

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO  44

COSTA RICA  68

PANAMA  10 URUGUAY  19

CUBA  1,235

PARAGUAY  3

VENEZUELA  1,872
     

Natives of the following countries were not eligible to participate in DV-2021: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. 

F.  DETERMINATION OF THE NUMERICAL LIMITS ON IMMIGRANTS REQUIRED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT (INA)

The State Department is required to make the determination of the worldwide numerical limitations, as outlined in Section 201(c) and (d) of the INA, on an annual basis.  These calculations are based in part on data provided by U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding the number of immediate relative adjustments in the preceding year and the number of aliens paroled into the United States under Section 212(d)(5) in the second preceding year.  Without this information, it is impossible to make an official determination of the annual limits.  To avoid delays in processing while waiting for the USCIS data, the Visa Office (VO) bases allocations on the minimum annual limits outlined in Section 201 of the INA.  On July 31st, USCIS provided the required data to VO.

The Department of State has determined the Family and Employment preference numerical limits for FY-2020 in accordance with the terms of Section 201 of the INA.  These numerical limitations for FY-2020 are as follows:

Worldwide Family-Sponsored preference limit: 226,000
Worldwide Employment-Based preference limit: 156,253

Under INA Section 202(a), the per-country limit is fixed at 7% of the family and employment annual limits.  For FY-2020 the per-country limit is 26,758.  The dependent area annual limit is 2%, or 7,645.

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:   August 10, 2020

Team Notes: 
Green Card: 
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