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VisaBulletinForDecember2016
Number99
VolumeIX
Washington,D.C
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A.STATUTORYNUMBERS
ThisbulletinsummarizestheavailabilityofimmigrantnumbersduringDecemberfor:FinalActionDatesandDatesforFiling
Applications,indicatingwhenimmigrantvisaapplicantsshouldbenotifiedtoassembleandsubmitrequireddocumentationtothe
NationalVisaCenter.
UnlessotherwiseindicatedontheU.S.CitizenshipandImmigrationServices(USCIS)website
atwww.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo ,individualsseekingtofileapplicationsforadjustmentofstatuswithUSCISintheDepartment
ofHomelandSecuritymustusetheFinalActionDateschartsbelowfordeterminingwhentheycanfilesuchapplications.When
USCISdeterminesthattherearemoreimmigrantvisasavailableforthefiscalyearthanthereareknownapplicantsforsuchvisas,
USCISwillstateonitswebsitethatapplicantsmayinsteadusetheDatesforFilingVisaApplicationschartsinthisBulletin.
1.Proceduresfordeterminingdates.ConsularofficersarerequiredtoreporttotheDepartmentofStatedocumentarilyqualified
applicantsfornumericallylimitedvisasUSCISreportsapplicantsforadjustmentofstatus.Allocationsinthechartsbelowwere
made,totheextentpossible,inchronologicalorderofreportedprioritydates,fordemandreceivedbyNovember8th.Ifnotall
demandcouldbesatisfied,thecategoryorforeignstateinwhichdemandwasexcessivewasdeemedoversubscribed.Thefinal
actiondateforanoversubscribedcategoryistheprioritydateofthefirstapplicantwhocouldnotbereachedwithinthenumerical
limits.Ifitbecomesnecessaryduringthemonthlyallocationprocesstoretrogressafinalactiondate,supplementalrequestsfor
numberswillbehonoredonlyiftheprioritydatefallswithinthenewfinalactiondateannouncedinthisbulletin.Ifatanytimean
annuallimitwerereached,itwouldbenecessarytoimmediatelymakethepreferencecategoryunavailable,andnofurther
requestsfornumberswouldbehonored.
2.Section201oftheImmigrationandNationalityAct(INA)setsanannualminimumfamilysponsoredpreferencelimitof
226,000.Theworldwidelevelforannualemploymentbasedpreferenceimmigrantsisatleast140,000.Section202prescribes
thatthepercountrylimitforpreferenceimmigrantsissetat7%ofthetotalannualfamilysponsoredandemploymentbased
preferencelimits,i.e.,25,620.Thedependentarealimitissetat2%,or7,320.
3.INASection203(e)providesthatfamilysponsoredandemploymentbasedpreferencevisasbeissuedtoeligibleimmigrantsin
theorderinwhichapetitioninbehalfofeachhasbeenfiled.Section203(d)providesthatspousesandchildrenofpreference
immigrantsareentitledtothesamestatus,andthesameorderofconsideration,ifaccompanyingorfollowingtojointhe
principal.ThevisaproratingprovisionsofSection202(e)applytoallocationsforaforeignstateordependentareawhenvisa
demandexceedsthepercountrylimit.Theseprovisionsapplyatpresenttothefollowingoversubscribedchargeabilityareas:
CHINAmainlandborn,ELSALVADOR,GUATEMALA,HONDURAS,INDIA,MEXICO,andPHILIPPINES.
4.Section203(a)oftheINAprescribespreferenceclassesforallotmentofFamilysponsoredimmigrantvisasasfollows:
FAMILYSPONSOREDPREFERENCES
First:(F1)UnmarriedSonsandDaughtersofU.S.Citizens:23,400plusanynumbersnotrequiredforfourthpreference.
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Second:SpousesandChildren,andUnmarriedSonsandDaughtersofPermanentResidents:114,200,plusthenumber(ifany)
bywhichtheworldwidefamilypreferencelevelexceeds226,000,plusanyunusedfirstpreferencenumbers:
A.(F2A)SpousesandChildrenofPermanentResidents:77%oftheoverallsecondpreferencelimitation,ofwhich75%are
exemptfromthepercountrylimit
B.(F2B)UnmarriedSonsandDaughters(21yearsofageorolder)ofPermanentResidents:23%oftheoverallsecondpreference
limitation.
Third:(F3)MarriedSonsandDaughtersofU.S.Citizens:23,400,plusanynumbersnotrequiredbyfirstandsecond
preferences.
Fourth:(F4)BrothersandSistersofAdultU.S.Citizens:65,000,plusanynumbersnotrequiredbyfirstthreepreferences.
A.FINALACTIONDATESFORFAMILYSPONSORED
PREFERENCECASES
Onthechartbelow,thelistingofadateforanyclassindicatesthattheclassisoversubscribed(seeparagraph1)"C"means
current,i.e.,numbersareauthorizedforissuancetoallqualifiedapplicantsand"U"meansunauthorized,i.e.,numbersarenot
authorizedforissuance.(NOTE:Numbersareauthorizedforissuanceonlyforapplicantswhoseprioritydateisearlierthanthe
finalactiondatelistedbelow.)
Family
Sponsored

AllChargeability
AreasExcept
ThoseListed

CHINAmainland
born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

F1

01DEC09

01DEC09

01DEC09

15APR95

15SEP05

F2A

22FEB15

22FEB15

22FEB15

15FEB15

22FEB15

F2B

08MAY10

08MAY10

08MAY10

15OCT95

01MAR06

F3

15FEB05

15FEB05

15FEB05

08DEC94

15AUG94

F4

22DEC03

01OCT03

01APR03

15MAY97

22MAY93

*NOTE:ForDecember,F2AnumbersEXEMPTfrompercountrylimitareauthorizedforissuancetoapplicantsfromallcountries
withprioritydatesearlierthan15FEB15.F2AnumbersSUBJECTtopercountrylimitareauthorizedforissuancetoapplicants
chargeabletoallcountriesEXCEPTMEXICOwithprioritydatesbeginning15FEB15andearlierthan22FEB15.AllF2Anumbers
providedforMEXICOareexemptfromthepercountrylimit.
B.DATESFORFILINGFAMILYSPONSORED
VISAAPPLICATIONS
Thechartbelowreflectsdatesforfilingvisaapplicationswithinatimeframejustifyingimmediateactionintheapplicationprocess.
Applicantsforimmigrantvisaswhohaveaprioritydateearlierthantheapplicationdateinthechartbelowmayassembleand
submitrequireddocumentstotheDepartmentofStatesNationalVisaCenter,followingreceiptofnotificationfromtheNational
VisaCentercontainingdetailedinstructions.Theapplicationdateforanoversubscribedcategoryistheprioritydateofthefirst
applicantwhocannotsubmitdocumentationtotheNationalVisaCenterforanimmigrantvisa.Ifacategoryisdesignated
current,allapplicantsintherelevantcategorymayfileapplications,regardlessofprioritydate.
TheClistingindicatesthatthecategoryiscurrent,andthatapplicationsmaybefiledregardlessoftheapplicantsprioritydate.
Thelistingofadateforanycategoryindicatesthatonlyapplicantswithaprioritydatewhichisearlierthanthelisteddatemay
filetheirapplication.
Visitwww.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo forinformationonwhetherUSCIShasdeterminedthatthischartcanbeused(inlieuofthe
chartinparagraph4.A.)thismonthforfilingapplicationsforadjustmentofstatuswithUSCIS.
Family
Sponsored

AllChargeability
AreasExcept
ThoseListed

CHINA
mainland
born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

F1

01JAN11

01JAN11

01JAN11

01JUN95

01MAY06

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F2A

22NOV15

22NOV15

22NOV15

22NOV15

22NOV15

F2B

08FEB11

08FEB11

08FEB11

01JUN96

01FEB07

F3

22AUG05

22AUG05

22AUG05

01MAY95

01JAN95

F4

01JUL04

01JUL04

01MAY04

01DEC97

01APR94

5.Section203(b)oftheINAprescribespreferenceclassesforallotmentofEmploymentbasedimmigrantvisasasfollows:
EMPLOYMENTBASEDPREFERENCES
First:PriorityWorkers:28.6%oftheworldwideemploymentbasedpreferencelevel,plusanynumbersnotrequiredforfourth
andfifthpreferences.
Second:MembersoftheProfessionsHoldingAdvancedDegreesorPersonsofExceptionalAbility:28.6%oftheworldwide
employmentbasedpreferencelevel,plusanynumbersnotrequiredbyfirstpreference.
Third:SkilledWorkers,Professionals,andOtherWorkers:28.6%oftheworldwidelevel,plusanynumbersnotrequiredbyfirst
andsecondpreferences,notmorethan10,000ofwhichto"*OtherWorkers".
Fourth:CertainSpecialImmigrants:7.1%oftheworldwidelevel.
Fifth:EmploymentCreation:7.1%oftheworldwidelevel,notlessthan3,000ofwhichreservedforinvestorsinatargetedrural
orhighunemploymentarea,and3,000setasideforinvestorsinregionalcentersbySec.610ofPub.L.102395.
A.FINALACTIONDATESFOREMPLOYMENTBASED
PREFERENCECASES
Onthechartbelow,thelistingofadateforanyclassindicatesthattheclassisoversubscribed(seeparagraph1)"C"means
current,i.e.,numbersareauthorizedforissuancetoallqualifiedapplicantsand"U"meansunauthorized,i.e.,numbersarenot
authorizedforissuance.(NOTE:Numbersareauthorizedforissuanceonlyforapplicantswhoseprioritydateisearlierthanthe
finalactiondatelistedbelow.)
Employ
ment
based

AllCharge
ability
AreasExcept
ThoseListed

CHINA
mainland
born

ELSALVADOR
GUATEMALA
HONDURAS

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

1st

2nd

22SEP12

01FEB08

3rd

01JUL16

01JUL13

01JUL16

15MAR05

01JUL16

01JUN11

OtherWorkers

01JUL16

01NOV05

01JUL16

15MAR05

01JUL16

01JUN11

4th

15JUL15

15JUL15

CertainReligiousWorkers

15JUL15

15JUL15

5th
NonRegional
Center
(C5andT5)

22MAR14

5th
Regional
Center
(I5andR5)

22MAR14

*EmploymentThirdPreferenceOtherWorkersCategory:Section203(e)oftheNicaraguanandCentralAmericanReliefAct
(NACARA)passedbyCongressinNovember1997,asamendedbySection1(e)ofPub.L.105139,providesthatoncethe
EmploymentThirdPreferenceOtherWorker(EW)cutoffdatehasreachedtheprioritydateofthelatestEWpetitionapproved
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priortoNovember19,1997,the10,000EWnumbersavailableforafiscalyeararetobereducedbyupto5,000annually
beginninginthefollowingfiscalyear.Thisreductionistobemadeforaslongasnecessarytooffsetadjustmentsunderthe
NACARAprogram.SincetheEWcutoffdatereachedNovember19,1997duringFiscalYear2001,thereductionintheEWannual
limitto5,000beganinFiscalYear2002.
B.DATESFORFILINGOFEMPLOYMENTBASED
VISAAPPLICATIONS
Thechartbelowreflectsdatesforfilingvisaapplicationswithinatimeframejustifyingimmediateactionintheapplicationprocess.
Applicantsforimmigrantvisaswhohaveaprioritydateearlierthantheapplicationdateinthechartmayassembleandsubmit
requireddocumentstotheDepartmentofStatesNationalVisaCenter,followingreceiptofnotificationfromtheNationalVisa
Centercontainingdetailedinstructions.Theapplicationdateforanoversubscribedcategoryistheprioritydateofthefirst
applicantwhocannotsubmitdocumentationtotheNationalVisaCenterforanimmigrantvisa.Ifacategoryisdesignated
current,allapplicantsintherelevantcategorymayfile,regardlessofprioritydate.
TheClistingindicatesthatthecategoryiscurrent,andthatapplicationsmaybefiledregardlessoftheapplicantsprioritydate.
Thelistingofadateforanycategoryindicatesthatonlyapplicantswithaprioritydatewhichisearlierthanthelisteddatemay
filetheirapplication.
Visitwww.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo forinformationonwhetherUSCIShasdeterminedthatthischartcanbeused(inlieuofthe
chartinparagraph5.A.)thismonthforfilingapplicationsforadjustmentofstatuswithUSCIS.

Employment
based

AllChargeability
AreasExcept
ThoseListed

CHINA
mainland
born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

1st

2nd

01MAR13

22APR09

3rd

01MAY14

01JUL05

01SEP13

OtherWorkers

01AUG09

01JUL05

01SEP13

4th

CertainReligiousWorkers

5th
NonRegional
Center
(C5andT5)

15JUN14

5th
Regional
Center
(I5andR5)

15JUN14

6.TheDepartmentofStatehasarecordedmessagewiththecutoffdateinformationforFinalApplicationActionwhichcanbe
heardat:(202)4857699.Thisrecordingisupdatedonoraboutthetenthofeachmonthwithinformationonfinalactiondates
forthefollowingmonth.
B.DIVERSITYIMMIGRANT(DV)CATEGORYFORTHEMONTH
OFDECEMBER
Section203(c)oftheINAprovidesupto55,000immigrantvisaseachfiscalyeartopermitadditionalimmigrationopportunities
forpersonsfromcountrieswithlowadmissionsduringthepreviousfiveyears.TheNACARAstipulatesthatbeginningwithDV99,
andforaslongasnecessary,upto5,000ofthe55,000annuallyallocateddiversityvisaswillbemadeavailableforuseunderthe
NACARAprogram.ThisresultedinreductionoftheDV2017annuallimitto50,000.DVvisasaredividedamongsix
geographicregions.Noonecountrycanreceivemorethansevenpercentoftheavailablediversityvisasinanyoneyear.
ForDecember,immigrantnumbersintheDVcategoryareavailabletoqualifiedDV2017applicantschargeabletoall
regions/eligiblecountriesasfollows.Whenanallocationcutoffnumberisshown,visasareavailableonlyforapplicantswithDV
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regionallotteryranknumbersBELOWthespecifiedallocationcutoffnumber:
Region

AllDVChargeabilityAreasExceptThoseListed
Separately

AFRICA

20,400

Except:
Egypt:8,700
Ethiopia:9,000

ASIA

3,500

Except:
Iran:3,200
Nepal:2,200

EUROPE

14,000

NORTHAMERICA
(BAHAMAS)

OCEANIA

525

SOUTHAMERICA,
andtheCARIBBEAN

650

EntitlementtoimmigrantstatusintheDVcategorylastsonlythroughtheendofthefiscal(visa)yearforwhichtheapplicantis
selectedinthelottery.TheyearofentitlementforallapplicantsregisteredfortheDV2017programendsasofSeptember30,
2017.DVvisasmaynotbeissuedtoDV2017applicantsafterthatdate.Similarly,spousesandchildrenaccompanyingor
followingtojoinDV2017principalsareonlyentitledtoderivativeDVstatusuntilSeptember30,2017.DVvisaavailability
throughtheveryendofFY2017cannotbetakenforgranted.NumberscouldbeexhaustedpriortoSeptember30.
C.THEDIVERSITY(DV)IMMIGRANTCATEGORYRANKCUTOFFS
WHICHWILLAPPLYINJANUARY
ForJanuary,immigrantnumbersintheDVcategoryareavailabletoqualifiedDV2017applicantschargeabletoallregions/eligible
countriesasfollows.Whenanallocationcutoffnumberisshown,visasareavailableonlyforapplicantswithDVregionallottery
ranknumbersBELOWthespecifiedallocationcutoffnumber:

Region

AllDVChargeabilityAreasExceptThoseListed
Separately

AFRICA

25,800

Except:
Egypt:12,700
Ethiopia:14,700

ASIA

4,000

Except:
Iran:3,600
Nepal:2,750

EUROPE

15,900

NORTHAMERICA
(BAHAMAS)

OCEANIA

650

SOUTHAMERICA,
andtheCARIBBEAN

775

D.OVERSUBSCRIPTIONOFTHEMEXICOEMPLOYMENTBASED
FOURTH(E4)ANDCERTAINRELIGIOUSWORKERS(SR)
PREFERENCECATEGORIES
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TherecontinuestobehighdemandintheE4andSRcategories,primarilyforJuvenileCourtDependentcasesfiledwithU.S.
CitizenshipandImmigrationServicesforadjustmentofstatus.Therefore,ithasbeennecessarytoimposeMexicoE4andSRFinal
ActionDatesinanattempttoholdnumberusewithinthemaximumallowedundertheFY2017annuallimits.
E.SCHEDULEDEXPIRATIONOFTWOEMPLOYMENTVISA
CATEGORIES
EmploymentFourthPreferenceCertainReligiousWorkers(SR):
Pursuanttothe10weekcontinuingresolutionsignedonSeptember29,2016,thenonministerspecialimmigrantprogram
expiresonDecember9,2016.NoSRvisasmaybeissuedoverseas,orfinalactiontakenonadjustmentofstatuscases,after
midnightDecember8,2016.VisasissuedpriortothisdatewillonlybeissuedwithavaliditydateofDecember8,2016,andall
individualsseekingadmissionasanonministerspecialimmigrantmustbeadmitted(repeat,admitted)intotheU.S.nolater
thanmidnightDecember8,2016.
ThefinalactiondateforthiscategoryhasbeenlistedasCurrentforDecemberforallcountriesexceptElSalvador,Guatemala,
Honduras,andMexico,whicharesubjecttoaJuly15,2015finalactiondateforDecember.Ifthereisnolegislativeaction
extendingthiscategoryforFY2017,thefinalactiondatewouldimmediatelybecomeUnavailableforDecemberforallcountries
effectiveDecember10,2016.
EmploymentFifthPreferenceCategories(I5andR5):
The10weekcontinuingresolutionsignedonSeptember29,2016extendedthisimmigrantinvestorpilotprogramuntilDecember
9,2016.TheI5andR5visasmaybeissueduntilcloseofbusinessonDecember9,2016,andmaybeissuedforthefullvalidity
period.NoI5orR5visasmaybeissuedoverseas,orfinalactiontakenonadjustmentofstatuscases,afterDecember9,2016.
ThefinalactiondatesfortheI5andR5categorieshavebeenlistedasCurrentforDecemberforallcountriesexceptChina
mainlandborn,whichissubjecttoaMarch22,2014finalactiondate.IfthereisnolegislativeactionextendingthemforFY2017,
thefinalactiondateswouldimmediatelybecomeUnavailableforDecemberforallcountrieseffectiveDecember10,2016.
F.EMPLOYMENTbasedVISAAVAILABILITY
ThelevelofdemandinmanyEmploymentbasedcategoriesforcasesfiledwithU.S.CitizenshipandImmigrationServicesfor
adjustmentofstatusincreasedsignificantlylatelastwinter.Thoselevelshavebeensustained,andatthistimetherearenosigns
thatdemandisdiminishing.Thefollowingupdatestopreviousprojectionsregardingvisaavailabilityarebeingannouncedinan
efforttoprovidethemaximumamountofadvancenotice:
First:Currentduringthecomingmonths.However,itwillbenecessarytoimposeaFinalActionDateforChinamainlandborn
andIndiaatsomepoint.
Second:Currentfortheforeseeablefuture.But,basedonthecurrentdemandpatternitappearslikelythatitwillbenecessary
toimposeaWorldwide,Mexico,andPhilippinesFinalActionDatenolaterthanJuly.
Third:Thelevelofdemandappearstobeincreasingatthelonganticipatedrate.Therefore,thisdatehasbeenheldfor
December,andislikelytoholdonceagainforJanuary,whiledeterminingifthisincreasedlevelwillbesustained.
INDIAThird:Movementofthisdatewillbelimitedtooneweek,thenthedatewillholdforseveralmonths,thenmoveone
week,thenlikelytohold.
G.ATTENTIONDV17LOTTERYWINNERS
HaveyoucheckedyourDiversityVisa(DV)2017statusrecently?Additionalentrantswereaddedtoselectedstatusin
September!CheckyourstatususingyouruniqueconfirmationnumberontheEntrantStatusCheck(ESC)website
www.dvlottery.state.gov.
SelectedentrantsareencouragedtocompletetheonlineDS260applicationimmediatelytoscheduleaninterviewappointmentat
theappropriateU.S.EmbassyorConsulate.www.dvlottery.state.gov
H.OBTAININGTHEMONTHLYVISABULLETIN
TobeplacedontheDepartmentofStatesEmailsubscriptionlistfortheVisaBulletin,pleasesendanEmailtothefollowingE
mailaddress:
listserv@calist.state.gov

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andinthemessagebodytype:
SubscribeVisaBulletin
(example:SubscribeVisaBulletin)
ToberemovedfromtheDepartmentofStatesEmailsubscriptionlistfortheVisaBulletin,sendanemailmessagetothe
followingEmailaddress:
listserv@calist.state.gov
andinthemessagebodytype:SignoffVisaBulletin
TheDepartmentofStatealsohasavailablearecordedmessagewithvisafinalactiondateswhichcanbeheardat:(202)485
7699.Therecordingisnormallyupdatedon/aboutthe10thofeachmonthwithinformationonfinalactiondatesforthefollowing
month.
ReadersmaysubmitquestionsregardingVisaBulletinrelateditemsbyEmailatthefollowingaddress:
VISABULLETIN@STATE.GOV
(ThisaddresscannotbeusedtosubscribetotheVisaBulletin.)
DepartmentofStatePublication9514
CA/VO:November8,2016

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