July 2017 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from July 1 to July 31 only). Please see below for more details.
D. OVERSUBSCRIPTION OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE
CHINA Employment-based Third (E3) preference category: Readers were advised in item F of the June Visa Bulletin number 6, that it would be necessary to impose a date no later than August. The continued high level of demand for E3 numbers for USCIS adjustment of status applicants has required the establishment of a date for July. This has been done in an attempt to hold number use within the China E3 annual limit. The China E3 date will return to October 1, 2014 for October, the first month of fiscal year 2018.
INDIA Employment-based Fourth (E4) AND Certain Religious Workers (SR) preference categories: As readers were advised in the June Visa Bulletin number 6, there has been extremely high demand in the E4 and SR categories. Pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, it has been necessary to impose E4 and SR Final Action Dates for India, which has reached its per-country limit. This action will allow the Department to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2017 annual limits.
The date for these preferences will once again become CURRENT for October, the first month of fiscal year 2018.
E. DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY 2018 (DV-2018) RESULTS
The Kentucky Consular Center in Williamsburg, Kentucky has registered and notified the winners of the DV-2018 diversity lottery. The diversity lottery was conducted under the terms of section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and makes available *50,000 permanent resident visas annually to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Approximately 115,968 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 *50,000 persons registered will not pursue their cases to visa issuance, this larger figure should insure that all DV-2018 numbers will be used during fiscal year 2018 (October 1, 2017 until September 30, 2018).
Applicants registered for the DV-2018 program were selected at random from 14,692,258 qualified entries (23,088,613 with derivatives) received during the 34-day application period that ran from noon, Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, October 4, 2016, until noon, Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, November 7, 2016. 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 *50,000 visa numbers have been used, the program for fiscal year 2018 will end. Selected applicants who do not receive visas by September 30, 2018 will derive no further benefit from their DV-2018 registration. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2018 principal applicants are only entitled to derivative diversity visa status until September 30, 2018.
Dates for the DV-2019 program registration period will be widely publicized in the coming months. Those interested in entering the DV-2019 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.