DOS Releases May 2017 Visa Bulletin

The Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA") sets annual worldwide and per-country numerical limits on employment-based and family-sponsored immigrant visas. These visas are supply-side "products," allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The May 2017 Visa Bulletin is issued on the basis of reported demand received from DOS (visa applicants) and CIS (adjustment applicants) by April 11, 2017. The bulletin includes notes regarding visa availability in employment-based preference categories, the scheduled expiration of two visa categories, and the expectation that the Special Immigrant Visas allocated for Afghan nationals will be exhausted by June 1, 2017.

This month's bulletin shows backlogs (demand > supply) in the EB-2, EB-3, EB-4 (non-certain religious workers), and EB-5 (non-regional centers) categories, no backlog ("C" or "current") for employment-based first-preference categories for all chargeability areas/nation-states of origin worldwide, and unavailability ("U") for EB-4 (certain religious workers) and EB-5 (regional centers). There are significant backlogs in all family-sponsored categories, with backlogs of up to ~23 years (FS-4 category for the Philippines).

A link to the May bulletin is here.

As stated in Section A, the bulletin "summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during May for: 'Final Action Dates' and 'Dates for Filing Applications,' indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center. Unless otherwise indicated on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website at www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo, individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status with USCIS in the Department of Homeland Security must use the 'Final Action Dates' charts...for determining when they can file such applications. When USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for the fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, USCIS will state on its website that applicants may instead use the 'Dates for Filing Visa Applications' charts in this Bulletin."

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