June 2017 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from June 1 to June 30 only). Please see below for more details.
D. OVERSUBSCRIPTION OF THE CHINA AND INDIA EMPLOYMENT-BASED FIRST (E1) PREFERENCE CATEGORIES
Readers were advised in item D of the May Visa Bulletin number 5, that it would be necessary to impose a date for these two countries in the near future. The continued high level of demand for E1 numbers for USCIS adjustment of status applicants has required the establishment of a date for June. This has been done in an attempt to hold number use within the Worldwide E1 annual limit. The E1 date for these two countries will once again become CURRENT for October, the first month of fiscal year 2018.
E. EXTENSION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT VISA CATEGORIES
An extension of both the Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers (SR) and Employment Fifth Preference Pilot (I5 and R5) Categories was signed into law in early May. As indicated in item E of the Visa Bulletin which announced the May final action dates, the extension has resulted in the immediate application of the following final action dates for the month of May:
SR: “Current” for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico which are subject to a July 15, 2015 final action date for May.
I5 and R5: “Current” for all countries except China-mainland born for May. China-mainland born applicants are subject to a June 1, 2014 final action date for May.
F. EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISA AVAILABILITY DURING THE COMING MONTHS
CHINA E3: There has been an extremely large increase in Employment Third preference applicant demand during the past month. This is due to the “downgrading” of status by applicants who had originally filed in the Employment Second preference. This has resulted in the Third preference final action date being held for the month of June. Continued heavy demand for numbers will require a retrogression of this date no later than August to hold number use within the FY-2017 annual limit.
INDIA E4 and SR: There continues to be high demand in these categories which is likely to result in the India E4 per-country limit being reached during June. Therefore, readers should expect the implementation of July E4 and SR Final Action Dates for India. This action will allow the Department to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2017 annual limits.
The India E4 and SR dates would once again become CURRENT for October.
G. SPECIAL IMMIGRANT VISA AVAILABILITY
The Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY 2017, enacted May 5, 2017, authorized an additional 2,500 Special Immigrant Visas under the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009, as amended. As a result, the Final Action Date for the SQ category for certain Afghan nationals employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Afghanistan will remain “Current” and interviews will resume.
The SQ category for certain Iraqi nationals employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq remains current, though the application deadline was September 30, 2014.
The FY-2017 annual limit of 50 Special Immigrant Visas in the SI category was reached in December 2016 and the Final Action Date remains “Unavailable.” As included in the January 2017 Visa Bulletin, further issuances in the SI category will not be possible until October 2017, under the FY-2018 annual limit.