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Visa Center as of November 1, 2011 Most prospective immigrant visa applicants qualify for status under the law on the basis of family relationships or employer sponsorship. Entitlement to visa processing in these classes is established ordinarily through approval by Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) of a petition filed on the applicant's behalf. The petitions of applicants who will be processed at an overseas post are forwarded by CIS to the Department of State; applicants in categories subject to numerical limit are registered on the visa waiting list. Each case is assigned a priority (i.e., registration) date based on the filing date accorded to the petition. Visa issuance within each numerically limited category is possible only if the applicant's priority date is within the applicable cut-off dates which are published each month by the Department of State in the Visa Bulletin. Family and Employment preference applicants compete for visa numbers within their respective categories on a worldwide basis according to priority date; a per-country limit on such preference immigrants set by INA 202 places a maximum on the amount of visas which may be issued in a single year to applicants from any one country, however. In October, the Department of State asked the National Visa Center (NVC) at Portsmouth, New Hampshire to report the totals of applicants on the waiting list in the various numerically-limited immigrant categories. Applications for adjustment of status under INA 245 which are pending at CIS Offices are not included in the tabulation of the immigrant waiting list data which is being provided at this time. As such, the following figures ONLY reflect petitions which the Department of State has received, and do not include the significant number of applications held with the CIS Offices. The following figures have been compiled from the NVC report submitted to the Department on November 1, 2011, and show the number of immigrant visa applicants on the waiting list in the various preferences and subcategories subject to numerical limit. All figures reflect persons registered under each respective numerical limitation, i.e., the totals represent not only principal applicants or petition beneficiaries, but their spouses and children entitled to derivative status under INA 203(d) as well.
825 (.402 .573 853.708 (+ 8.501.150 -73.806 123.8.636 517.774 FY 2012 295.062 4.3%) Category EMPLOYMENT FIRST EMPLOYMENT SECOND EMPLOYMENT THIRD TOTAL Skilled Workers: Other Workers: EMPLOYMENT FOURTH TOTAL EMPLOYMENT FIFTH TOTAL TOTAL GRAND TOTAL FY 2011 2.018 913.399 .561 -18.104.22.168%) (.395 16.6.552.961 6.119 846.9%) (.335 (.183 102.563 +4.4%) (.393 FY 2012 2.286 (.5%) +150 (+ 2.35.Adult Sons/Daughters: FAMILY THIRD FAMILY FOURTH TOTAL FY 2011 271.10.6%) (.7%) -7.38.520 2.623 4.888 112.0%) -5.Family-sponsored Preferences Increase/Decrease From 2011 Totals (and % of change) + 24.060 22.214.171.124%) -1.6%) -58.1%) (-10.183 130.994 (.023 97.083 2.611 361.038 552.066 Employment-based Preferences Increase/Decrease From 2011 Totals (and % of change) -843 (.1%) Category FAMILY FIRST FAMILY SECOND TOTAL 2A-Spouses/Children: 2B.118 6.738 119.755 322.519.6.619 4.1%) +623 (+52.8%) (+ 0.624.9%) -56 (.333 4.454 -6.28.683.10.788 554 1.168 839.0.160 (.515.963 498 1.856 .2%) -7.
however.020 61.624. This list includes all countries with at least 60.of U. Country Mexico Philippines India Vietnam China-mainland born Dominican Republic Bangladesh Pakistan Haiti Cuba El Salvador Jamaica Korea.217 161.S.489 4.) It should by no means be assumed that once an applicant is registered. spouses. If. a consular post receives no response within one year from an applicant to whom the visa application instruction letter (i.900.399 .i. unmarried children under the age of 21 years.430 948.450 85. citizens are not subject to numerical limitation. the case is then continually included in the waiting list totals unless and until a visa is issued. the consular "Packet 3" letter) is sent when the movement of the visa availability cutoff date indicates a visa may become available within a reasonable time frame.294 503.5% of the total.439 248.401 281. the 2012 per-country limit will be approximately 25. (Visas for "Immediate Relatives" .016 64. South Colombia All Others Worldwide Total Applicants 1. and parents .374. The per-country limit in INA 202 sets an annual maximum on the amount of preference visas which may be issued to applicants from any one country.985 112. together these represent 79. the case is considered "inactive" under the consular procedures and is no longer included in waiting list totals.494 171.266 343. The fourteen countries with the highest number of waiting list registrants in FY 2012 are listed below.221 66. for example.Immigrant Waiting List By Country Immigrant visa issuances during fiscal year 2012 are limited by the terms of INA 201 to no more than 226.000 in the family-sponsored preferences and approximately 144.e.769 118..908 83.e.. The consular procedures mandate a regular culling of visa cases to remove from the count those unlikely to see further action.000 in the employment-based preferences.000 persons on the waiting list. so that totals are not unreasonably inflated.
0% 2.Immigrant Waiting List By Preference Category FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES Family FIRST Preference: The worldwide Family FIRST preference numerical limitation is 23.119 Family 2B waiting list and the several years' interval between 2B petition filing and visa issuance. with slower advances in the worldwide cut-off date the consequence.1% 27.7% 2. Only two countries.168 Percent of Category Waiting List 30.353 80. .6% 3.400.749 8.098 7.106 8.1% 100% Country Mexico Philippines Dominican Republic Jamaica Haiti El Salvador Vietnam Guyana Cuba Colombia All Others Total Cases are being added to the waiting list in this category not only by the approval of new FIRST preference petitions.412 8. have FIRST preference cut-off dates which are earlier than the worldwide date.5% 2.669 16.546 29. The prospect is for increasing oversubscription in the FIRST preference. Given the 517.7% 5. Mexico and the Philippines.529 20.7% 2.476 6.000 295.230 19. it is likely that increasing numbers of petitioners will be naturalized and the petitions converted to Family FIRST preference long before 2B visas become available. The top ten countries with the highest F1 waiting list totals are: Family First Preference Total 90.0% 6.9% 6.7% 10. but also through automatic conversion of pending 2B cases into FIRST preference upon the naturalization of the petitioner.
755.963 16.9% 4. 322.804 14.084 15.5% 33. It will receive 114. 77% of SECOND preference numbers are provided to 2A applicants. just over half of the 226. the amount of cases being processed in the "Immediate Relative" category may increase and partially offset new F2A filings. Of these. and 517. . while the remaining 23% go to the 2B class. a pending 2A case is converted automatically into the "Immediate Relative" visa category.0% 9.000 family preference total.Family SECOND Preference: The total Family SECOND preference waiting list figure is 839. which is not subject to numerical limit and therefore has no visa waiting period.0% 4.628 30.4%) are spouses and children of permanent residents of the United States (the 2A class).636 (38.0% 100% Country Mexico Dominican Republic Cuba Haiti Philippines All Others Total Upon naturalization of the petitioner.6% 5.559 322. As a result. 2A: About 88.000 visa numbers are expected to be available during FY 2012.598 106.7% of the total Family preference waiting list.636 Percent of Category Waiting List 43. The top five countries with the highest 2A waiting list totals are: Family 2A Preference Total 138.6%) are adult unmarried sons/daughters of permanent residents (the 2B class).200 visa numbers for FY 2012.119 (61. The Family SECOND preference represents 18.
4% 9.250 during FY 2012.9% 1.8% 1.385 52.072 247. The top ten countries with the highest F3 waiting list totals are: Family Third Preference Total 180. Two oversubscribed countries (Mexico and Philippines) have sufficiently heavy demand in this preference to require a cut-off date substantially earlier than the worldwide date.370 17.982 156.896 16.7% 1.5% 18.107 77.9% 3.569 33.400.0% 3. Family THIRD Preference: The annual visa limit is 23.3% 100% Country Mexico Dominican Republic Philippines Haiti El Salvador China-mainland born Cuba Vietnam Jamaica Guatemala All Others Total As noted above.049 21. some of the 2B cases are applicants converted from the 2A class upon their turning 21.823 25.4% 3.653 66.621 57.021 15.5% 2.223 7.0% 1.239 16.8% 29.2% 100% Country Mexico Philippines Vietnam India China-mainland born Cuba Pakistan Poland Dominican Republic Jamaica All Others Total .610 94.119 Percent of Category Waiting List 41. The top ten countries with the highest 2B waiting list totals are: Family 2B Preference Total 212. The waiting list far exceeds the annual limit.8% 1.6% 1.3% 2.2% 5.204 15.2B: Visa numbers for this class of adult sons and daughters will be approximately 26.851 17.442 8.035 9.520 Percent of Category Waiting List 21.9% 2.2% 7.589 517.170 14.1% 10.1% 11.728 846.4% 18.
4% 8.519. Annual visa issuances are limited to 65.2% 7.417 149.0% 100% Country Mexico India Philippines Vietnam China-mainland born Bangladesh Pakistan Dominican Republic Haiti South Korea All Others Total The steadily growing waiting period in this preference is now more than eleven years for countries of most favorable visa availability and even longer for some oversubscribed countries.441 38.000.445 205.458 47.356 43.9% 1. .Family FOURTH Preference: Applicants registered in the Family FOURTH preference total 2.648 175.7% 1.815 237.385 603.623 Percent of Category Waiting List 29.6% 9. The waiting period for the Family FOURTH preference is longer than any other category because the demand severely exceeds the number of available visas.1% 7.519. The countries listed below have the largest number of FOURTH preference applicants: Family Fourth Preference Total 746.623.7% 1.342 179.526 92.5% 24.790 2.0% 5.9% 3.
118 Percent of Category Waiting List 12. Employment FIRST Preference: Top countries are: Country China-mainland born Canada Great Britain & Northern Ireland India Venezuela Korea. Therefore.0% 10.298 6.888 Percent of Category Waiting List 53.2% 2. Employment SECOND Preference: Top countries are: Country India China-mainland born Korea.5% 4. Cases pending with CIS are not counted in the consular waiting list tally which is presented below. The Employment waiting list counts not only prospective workers.8% 15.9% 100% This category is "current" at present for all but two countries.3% 18.8% 2. South Japan Mexico Philippines France All Others Worldwide Total Employment First Preference 268 232 222 164 107 106 80 57 57 52 773 2.4% 36.7% 5.705 1. but also their spouses and children entitled under the law to derivative preference status.7% 11. in several Employment categories the waiting list totals being provided below understate real immigrant demand.3% 5. South Philippines Canada All Others Worldwide Total Employment Second Preference 3.5% 7.EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES It is important to note that over eighty-five percent of all Employment preference immigrants are currently being processed as adjustment of status cases at CIS offices.7% 2. .0% 3.0% 5.7% 2.5% 100% Visa availability is "current" for all countries.053 379 292 161 1.
0% 2.8% 6.697 14.955 2. a significant wait for a visa must be expected to continue for the indefinite future.119 6. South Mexico Philippines India All Others Worldwide Total Employment Third Preference: Skilled Worker/ Professional Components 4.2% 21.963 Percent of Waiting List in These Classes 31.615 605 2.3% 22.060 Percent of Category Waiting List 44.3% 100% Country Philippines India China-mainland born Korea.652 97.4% 3.191 2.Employment THIRD Preference: Top countries are: Employment Third Preference 42.4% 15. South Mexico All Others Worldwide Total Employment Third “Other Workers”: Top Countries are: Country China-mainland born Korea.2% 10.0% 100% With visa demand well in excess of the Employment Third Preference annual limits.1% 18.8% 4.271 21.277 1.051 2.872 21.718 3.5% 20. .
4% 1.7% 2. Employment FIFTH Preference: Top countries are: Employment Fifth Preference 1. South Philippines Nigeria Colombia Israel All Others Worldwide Total Visa availability is "current" for all countries.2% 2.2% 52.5% 5.0% 4.157 182 58 49 43 31 286 1.1% 3.2% 5.2% 100% Country India Korea.4% 5.1% 10. South Venezuela Iran China-Taiwan born India All Others Worldwide Total Visa availability is "current" for all countries.806 Percent of Waiting List in These Classes 64. .8% 100% Country China-mainland born Korea.Employment FOURTH Preference: Top countries are: Employment Fourth Preference 107 32 27 26 25 21 260 498 Percent of Waiting List in These Classes 21.7% 15.5% 6.
000 persons on the waiting list. (The per-country limit in INA 202 sets an annual maximum on the amount of Family preference visas which may be issued to applicants from any one country. This list includes all countries with at least 150.899 2.592 458.229 4.501.138 161.915.567 1.221 235.034.5% of the total.373 4.501.066 *North America includes Canada. the FY 2012 per-country limit will be 15. Mexico.395 12.) Family Preferences Country Mexico Philippines India Vietnam China-mainland born Dominican Republic Bangladesh All Others Worldwide Total Family Immigrant Waiting List By Region A breakdown of the NVC waiting list by region is: Region Africa Asia Europe N.772 160.369.506. America* Oceania S.Family Immigrant Waiting List By Country The seven countries with the highest number of Family-sponsored waiting list registrants are listed below.046 255.820.725 1.106 171.670 281. . America Family Total Total 122. Central America and the Caribbean.399 317. together these represent 66.066 Total 1.
441 9.500 persons on the waiting list. together these represent 77.) Employment Preferences Country Philippines India China-mainland born Korea. Central America and the Caribbean. Mexico.731 13.333 Total 44. (The per-country limit in INA 202 sets an annual maximum on the amount of Employment preference visas which may be issued to applicants from any one country.705 4. America Family Total Total 2.702 27.Employment Immigrant Waiting List By Country The five countries with the highest number of Employment-based waiting list registrants are listed below.080. the FY 2012 per-country limit will be approximately 10.940 123.432 6.813 100.333 *North America includes Canada.867 25. .007 305 4. South Mexico All Others Worldwide Total Employment Immigrant Waiting List By Region A breakdown of the NVC waiting list by region is: Region Africa Asia Europe N. America* Oceania S.388 6. This list includes all countries with at least 4.3% of the total.335 123.
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