September 2017 Visa Bulletin has been officially released (valid from September 1 to September 30 only). Please see below for more details.
D. RETROGRESSION OF FAMILY PREFERENCE FINAL ACTION DATES
Family First Preference (F1): Worldwide, China, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, and Honduras: The continued high level of demand for F1 preference numbers has required the retrogression of the final action date for the month of September. This action has been taken in an attempt to hold number use within the Worldwide F1 annual limit. The final action date for these countries will return to December 22, 2010 for October, the first month of fiscal year 2018.
Family Fourth Preference (F4): Worldwide, China, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, and Honduras: The continued high level of demand for F4 preference numbers has required the retrogression of the final action date for the month of September. This action has been taken in an attempt to hold number use within the Worldwide F4 annual limit. When the final action dates for these countries are announced for October, the first month of fiscal year 2018, they will be returned to the final action dates which had been established for August.
Please Note: Applicants entitled to immigrant status become documentarily qualified at their own initiative and convenience. By no means has every applicant with a priority date earlier than a prevailing final action date been processed for final visa action. On the contrary, visa allotments are made only on the basis of the total applicants reported documentarily qualified each month, compared with the amount of available numbers. For example, during the past month, over 12,000 applicants who became documentarily qualified in the Family preference categories have priority dates earlier than the final action dates established for August. Such demand for visa numbers can fluctuate from month to month, with the inevitable impact on final action dates.
E. DETERMINATION OF THE NUMERICAL LIMITS ON IMMIGRANTS REQUIRED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT (INA)
The State Department is required to make a determination of the worldwide numerical limitations, as outlined in Section 201(c) and (d) of the INA, on an annual basis. These calculations are based in part on data provided by U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding the number of immediate relative adjustments in the preceding year and the number of aliens paroled into the United States under Section 212(d)(5) in the second preceding year. Without this information, it is impossible to make an official determination of the annual limits. To avoid delays in processing while waiting for the USCIS data, the Visa Office (VO) bases allocations on the minimum annual limits outlined in Section 201 of the INA. On July 31st, USCIS provided the required data to VO.
The Department of State has determined the Family and Employment preference numerical limits for FY-2017 in accordance with the terms of Section 201 of the INA. These numerical limitations for FY-2017 are as follows:
Worldwide Family-Sponsored preference limit: 226,000
Worldwide Employment-Based preference limit: 140,000
Under INA Section 202(a), the per-country limit is fixed at 7% of the family and employment annual limits. For FY-2017 the per-country limit is 25,620. The dependent area annual limit is 2%, or 7,320.
F. REPORTING CHANGES OF ADDRESS FOR CASES BEING PROCESSED OVERSEAS
All readers should be aware that any change of address for applicants processing their case overseas should always be reported to the National Visa Center (NVC). For faster processing, please provide an email address where NVC can contact you about your case. It is essential that NVC have the correct address so they can send information regarding the processing of the case to the applicant.
When contacting NVC directly about an immigrant visa petition, always include the following information:
- NVC case number or USCIS receipt number
- Principal applicant’s name
- Principal applicant's date of birth
- Petitioner’s name
Email is NVC’s preferred method of communication. You may email questions to NVC by using the online Public Inquiry Form located at: https://nvc.state.gov/ask
(603) 334-0700. Customer Service Representatives can speak with you Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to Midnight (Eastern Time), excluding holidays.
You can mail NVC letters to the following address:
National Visa Center
31 Rochester Avenue, Suite 200
Portsmouth, NH 03801-2915