February 2018 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from February 1 to February 28 only). Please see below for more details.
D. SPECIAL IMMIGRANT (SI) TRANSLATOR CATEGORY VISA AVAILABILITY
Given the limited availability of visa numbers and the existing demand, the Department expects to reach the FY-2018 annual limit of 50 Special Immigrant Visas in the SI category early this year. As a result, it has been necessary to establish a February Final Action Date of April 22, 2012. It is likely that number use will require the SI category to become “unavailable” in the coming months. Once the annual limit of 50 visas is reached, further issuances in the SI category will not be possible until October 2018, under the FY-2019 annual limit. The SQ Special Immigrant Visa category for certain Iraqi and Afghan nationals employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq or Afghanistan is not affected and remains current.
E. SCHEDULED EXPIRATION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT VISA CATEGORIES
Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR):
Pursuant to the continuing resolution, signed on December 22, 2017, the non-minister special immigrant program expires on January 19, 2018. No SR visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after midnight January 18, 2018. Visas issued prior to this date will only be issued with a validity date of January 18, 2018, and all individuals seeking admission as a non-minister special immigrant must be admitted (repeat, admitted) into the U.S. no later than midnight January 18, 2018.
The final action date for this category has been listed as “Unavailable” for February. If there is legislative action extending this category for FY-2018, the final action date would immediately become “Current” for February for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras which would be subject to a December 1, 2015 final action date, and for Mexico which would be subject to a June 22, 2016 date.
Employment Fifth Preference Categories (I5 and R5):
The continuing resolution signed on December 22, 2017 extended this immigrant investor pilot program until January 19, 2018. The I5 and R5 visas may be issued until close of business on January 19, 2018, and may be issued for the full validity period. No I5 or R5 visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after January 19, 2018.
The final action dates for the I5 and R5 categories have been listed as “Unavailable” for February. If there is legislative action extending them for FY-2018, the final action dates would immediately become “Current” for February for all countries except China-mainland born I5 and R5 which would be subject to a July 22, 2014 final action date.
F. VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS
FAMILY-sponsored categories (potential monthly movement)
F1: Up to one month
F2A: Three to five weeks
F2B: Three to six weeks
F3: Up to five weeks
F4: Up to three weeks
EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)
Employment First: The category will remain “Current” for all countries for the next several months.
China: Several months
India: Up to two weeks
China: Up to five months
India: One to three months
Philippines: Up to one month
Employment Fourth: Current for most countries
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras: Up to three weeks
Mexico: Some forward movement
Employment Fifth: The category will remain “Current” for most countries.
China-mainland born: Little if any forward movement.
Vietnam: Will become subject to a final action date no later than April. The China-mainland born and Vietnam Employment Fifth preference dates would be the same.
The above final action date projections for the Family and Employment categories indicate what is likely to happen on a monthly basis through April and May based on current applicant demand patterns. Readers should never assume that recent trends in final action date movements are guaranteed for the future, or that "corrective" action will not be required at some point in an effort to maintain number use within the applicable annual limits. The determination of the actual monthly final action dates is subject to fluctuations in applicant demand and a number of other variables.