December 2017 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from December 1 to December 31 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 in the Fiscal Year. As a result, it has been necessary to hold the December Final Action Date at April 1, 2010. 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. RETROGRESSION OF PHILIPPINES FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CATEGORIES
The Philippines F1 and F2B final action dates had been advanced very rapidly during the course of the past year in an effort to generate sufficient demand to fully utilize all available numbers. In recent months the amount of applicant demand being received has been increasing at a steady pace. The level of such demand has reached a point where it has become necessary to retrogress each of those final action dates in an effort to hold number use within the annual limit for these preference categories.
F. SCHEDULED EXPIRATION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT VISA CATEGORIES
Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR):
Pursuant to the continuing resolution, signed on September 8, 2017, the non-minister special immigrant program expires on December 8, 2017. No SR visas may be issued overseas, or final action taken on adjustment of status cases, after midnight December 7, 2017. Visas issued prior to this date will only be issued with a validity date of December 7, 2017, and all individuals seeking admission as a non-minister special immigrant must be admitted (repeat, admitted) into the U.S. no later than midnight December 7, 2017.
The final action date for this category has been listed as “Current” for December for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, which are subject to specific final action dates for December. If there is no legislative action extending this category for FY-2018, the final action date would immediately become “Unavailable” for December for all countries effective December 8, 2017.
Employment Fifth Preference Categories (I5 and R5):
The continuing resolution signed on September 8, 2017 extended this immigrant investor pilot program until December 8, 2017. The I5 and R5 visas may be issued until close of business on December 8, 2017, 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 December 8, 2017.
The final action dates for the I5 and R5 categories have been listed as “Current” for December for all countries except China-mainland born, which is subject to a July 15, 2014 final action date. If there is no legislative action extending them for FY-2018, the final action dates would immediately become “Unavailable” for December for all countries effective December 9, 2017.